,PHOENIXVILLE -- A Royersford woman was arrested Monday on felony drug charges after she allegedly over-ordered morphine for a patient she was treating for her own personal use over a three-month span.

Kimberly Ann Tartaglia, 38, of the 500 block of Horseshoe Drive, Royersford, is charged with acquisition of or obtaining of possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge; theft by unlawful taking; and receiving stolen property.

According to court documents, East Pikeland Police Officer Richard L. Fagley Sr. said he was contacted by officials from Heartland Hospice regarding Tartaglia on June 30.

"I was informed that Tartaglia, a registered nurse, was caring for a patient between the months of April 1 and June 13 of this year," said Fagley. "While she was caring for the patient, she began ordering medications for him."

The medication, identified as Morphine Sulfate 10 mg. tablets, is a controlled substance, said Fagley.

According to the Food Drug Administration (FDA), morphine is used to treat moder

ate to severe pain as it works by dulling the pain perception center in the brain. Short-acting formulations are taken as needed for pain. Extended-release formulations are used when around-the-clock pain relief is needed.

The FDA further states that morphine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Morphine should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction.

During his investigation into this matter, Fagley said he asked Tartaglia to come to the East Pikeland Police Station for an interview on July 1.

"She provided a written and signed statement which supported the allegations," he said.

Fagley said Tartaglia stated that between April 1 and June 15, she did over-order Morphine Sulfate 10 mg. tablets and divert them to her possession for her personal use.

"She admitted to taking 10 to 15 tablets a day during this period," he said. "She knew the medications were not hers and that the over-ordering was for a controlled substance that she was not entitled to possess or take."

Fagley said that Tartaglia took approximately 750 tablets, with an estimated value of $1,500.

Tartaglia turned herself in at East Pikeland Police Station before being transported to Phoenixville District Court.

She was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Ted Michaels Monday afternoon.

Tartaglia was released after Michaels set her bail at

Her next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 2008, at 2 p.m. in Phoenixville District Court.

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