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Woman agrees to plead guilty in hospital drug case

Fargo, North Dakota (AP) January 2011

One of four people accused in a conspiracy to steal painkillers from an American Indian hospital in North Dakota has agreed to plead guilty.

Candace Keplin is charged in federal court with conspiracy to possess and distribute hydrocodone. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Court documents claim that nearly 49,000 pills were stolen from the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation hospital in Belcourt between February 2009 and March 2010. Prosecutors say the drugs were stored at a residence shared by Keplin and Timothy Davis Jr.

Davis, John Allery and Jordan Delong have pleaded not guilty in the case.

An investigation led by former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan into regional Indian Health Services facilities highlighted problems with stolen drugs at the Belcourt hospital.




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