Former LTC worker arrested for swapping out, stealing residents' drugs

A former employee of an Arkansas nursing home was arrested last week on charges that she allegedly gave “substitute” drugs to residents and kept the prescribed medications for herself, according to the Arkansas Attorney General's office.

Cheri Bates-West was arrested on three felony controlled substance violations after she allegedly stole prescription drugs meant for residents at Lakewood Nursing and Rehab in North Little Rock, AK, and administered other drugs in their place. Bates-West received two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of introducing a controlled substance into another's body. Her bond is set at $15,000, according to the Arkansas News Bureau.

A spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told the Arkansas News Bureau it is unknown whether any residents developed health issues as a result of Bates-West's swap. Bates-West has since been fired from Lakewood, he said.

In a phone call Friday afternoon a spokeswoman for Lakewood declined to share Bates-West's employee position. A statement from the nursing home had not been received as of press time.