CONCORD – A federal judge today rejected an effort by David M. Kwiatkowski, 41, to obtain compassionate release, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
Kwiatkowski, 41, a medical technician who worked at hospitals in at least eight different states, repeatedly stole fentanyl that was intended for patients who were undergoing medical procedures, injected the drug into his body, and then refilled the syringes with saline. The patients then received injections of saline that had been tainted by his blood. Because he was infected with Hepatitis C, Kwiatkowski’s actions not only deprived patients of medication, but also infected over 40 victims with Hepatitis C. One of those victims, a resident of Kansas, died as a result of his conduct.
Kwiatkowski’s crimes came to light after law enforcement authorities in New Hampshire investigated an outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital in 2012. He was arrested in July of 2012. He pleaded guilty in August of 2013 to eight counts of tampering with a consumer product and eight counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. He was sentenced to serve 39 years in prison in December of 2013.
In January of 2021, Kwiatkowski filed a motion requesting compassionate release from prison. He alleged that his medical conditions placed him at high risk of becoming severely ill if he were to become infected with COVID-19.
At a hearing today, U.S. District Judge Joseph Laplante denied Kwiatkowski’s motion. In rejecting the request, the judge noted that the defendant’s crime had been “extremely cruel and callous” and that the risk posed by COVID-19 did not justify releasing the defendant after he had only served approximately nine years of his 39-year sentence.
“I am grateful that the Court rejected this defendant’s effort to avoid serving his justly-imposed prison sentence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “This defendant damaged the lives of dozens of victims in multiple states and caused a significant public health crisis. It would have been a grave injustice if this defendant had been released from prison while so many of his victims continue to endure the health consequences of his unlawful and cruel actions.”
The criminal investigation was a cooperative effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement entities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of Criminal Investigations of the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the New Hampshire State Police, and the Exeter, New Hampshire Police Department. Assistance also was provided by the New Hampshire Drug Task Force, the Marlborough, Massachusetts Police Department, the Boxborough, Massachusetts Police Department, and the United States Attorney’s Offices in the District of Massachusetts, the District of Kansas, the District of Maryland, and the Middle District of Georgia.