Former HMC nurse pleads not guilty to stealing fentanyl


A former Hilo Medical Center nurse is accused of prescription drug theft and felony drug possession in connection with two alleged incidents at the hospital in April.

Allison Elizabeth Kawamura was charged late last month with second- and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance through fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or theft.


Kawamura was charged on Sept. 23, according to court records, by felony information — a process by which prosecutors present evidence to a judge to determine if probable cause exists for charging.

According to county Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen, the drug charges are for alleged possession of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opiate used in the treatment of cancer.

The most serious charge, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. The other charges are Class C felonies carrying a potential five-year prison term.

On Friday, Kawamura pleaded not guilty to the charges before Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto, who ordered her to return to court on Dec. 5 for further proceedings.

Kawamura is free on $55,000 bail.

Waltjen said in a statement that the state Narcotics Enforcement Division assisted the Hawaii Police Department in the investigation.

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