NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — An Oxford nurse who pleaded guilty to tampering with fentanyl vials while employed at a Yale infertility clinic in Orange was sentenced in court Tuesday.
Donna Monticone, 49, of Oxford has been sentenced to three years of supervised release, four weekends of incarceration, and three months of home confinement.
At her sentencing Tuesday, she said she never had a public platform to directly address her victims. News 8’s Sabina Kuriakose tried to give her that platform outside of court after the sentencing, but she had no comment.
In court, the judge took into consideration Monticone’s addition, her rehabilitation, and her three kids at home. Her victims expressed kindness and acknowledged her addiction, but still grappling with the lasting consequences of what she did.
Inside the court, excruciating testimony from her victims. They described agonizing pain during IVF treatments at the Yale Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility clinic (Yale REI clinic) where Monticone was a nurse.
While working as a nurse at Yale REI clinic, Monticone had access to storage areas containing drugs such as fentanyl. She used a syringe to withdraw the fentanyl and reinjected saline into the vials.
Investigation revealed that approximately 75% of the tampered fentanyl was given to Yale REI clinic patients from June to October 2020. Some vials contained diluted fentanyl, while others contained only saline.
Monticone admitted to knowing the tampered vials of fentanyl were used in surgical procedures and to injecting herself with the stolen fentanyl while at work. By November 1, 2020, Monticone had discarded 175 vials of fentanyl from the Yale REI clinic into waste containers at the clinic.
“Getting surgery or procedures without anesthesia is, it’s torture,” said Attorney Josh Koskoff who represents several of Monticone’s victims. “Only to be dismissed and told there is something wrong with you on top of the fact that you can’t conceive creates this lasting trauma.”
She pleaded guilty on March 2, 2021. Monticone was released on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing. She has surrendered her nursing license.
“The judge exhibited a great deal of discretion in her ruling. She had a complicated case,” said Attorney Koskoff.
In a statement released at the time of Monticone’s arrest, Yale said, “The University reported the nurse’s actions to law enforcement agencies, and the Fertility Center conducted an immediate review of its management of controlled substances. Changes are underway in procedures, recordkeeping, and physical storage that will prevent this type of activity from happening again.”
Attorney Koskoff says he’s working with Yale on behalf of his clients. He says if he doesn’t like what he hears–he’ll sue.