Documents reveal source of 2018 execution drugs
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A Gretna pharmacist says he regrets his business’ role in events that led up to the execution of a Nebraska inmate, nearly two years ago.
Carey Dean Moore was put to death by lethal injection in August 2018 for the murders of two cab drivers in 1979. The lethal injection was carried out with an untested four-drug concoction. It was the first known execution ever to use fentanyl.
One lingering question has been where Nebraska Corrections got the drugs from. We now know thanks to the release of documents Thursday, which the ACLU of Nebraska is celebrating after a long and costly legal fight.
The documents reveal messages between Dr. Harbrans Deol, Medical Director of Nebraska Corrections, and Tyler Johnson, Director of Pharmacy Operations at Community Pharmacy Services in Gretna.
The documents date back to September 2017, eleven months before Moore’s execution. Johnson wrote that since most of the products the state needed, “are rare in our world, we are going to have to bill for most of all of it.” At one point, Dr. Deol also asked “do you want me to keep it quiet till we start talking of our collaborations?” It is not clear in the documents if he ever received an answer.
Two invoices used to bill Nebraska Corrections only described Diazepam (a valium) and Fentanyl as a “miscellaneous expense”. The state paid $8,000 and $2,500, according to the invoices, which were dated October 16 and 23, 2017.
After the state received the two drugs on Oct. 31, 2017, they were handed over to the Nebraska State Patrol crime lab for testing. In one document, the drugs were only described as “miscellaneous drugs”.
Other drugs listed throughout the documents include Potassium Chloride, Cisatracurium, Hydromorphone, and Pancuronium.
After the documents were released Thursday night, the owner of Community Pharmacy Services released a statement. Tyler Janssen wrote:
Community Pharmacy Services is a family-owned, small business that is dedicated to supporting long-term care facilities in their pharmacy needs and operations. In a deviation from our core business, we were hired to manage the pharmacy operations for the Nebraska Department of Corrections facilities from 2016-2018. During the course of that contract, the company was asked by the state to legally sell drugs to the department. The company fulfilled that order following all DEA protocols and procedures, and understood the potential use of those drugs. Community Pharmacy Services has never supplied drugs since then to the Nebraska Department of Corrections or any other department of corrections, nor will it ever again. I regretted the decision as it does not align with our company’s values to provide the best patient care and customer service to the long-term care industry.
In May 2020, the Nebraska State Supreme Court ruled officials could no longer withhold the lethal injection records.
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