Isanti County jail nurse charged with illegally using inmates’ names to obtain narcotics

Cara Sue Lindgren
Cara Sue Lindgren

A contracted nurse for the Isanti County jail has been charged with using inmates’ names to illegally obtain prescriptions of oxycodone for personal use.

Cara Sue Lindgren, 38, of Cambridge, was charged with felony fifth degree drug possession, and felony fifth degree drug possession by fraud or deceit before Judge James Dehn Aug. 9 in Isanti County District Court. Dehn set bond at $10,000 without conditions or $5,000 with conditions and her next court appearance for Sept. 4.

Lindgren was an employee of Advanced Correctional Healthcare/Diamond Pharmacy Services, who is the contracted medical provider for the Isanti County jail. Oxycodone is a Level II controlled substance often used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Isanti County Sheriff Bill Guenther indicated the investigation is still active.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Aug. 7, Isanti County Investigator Kevin Carlson received information from Advanced Correctional Healthcare/Diamond Pharmacy Services that Lindgren was wrongfully obtaining oxycodone for personal use or possible sale.

The documents provided by the Healthcare included several prescriptions for oxycodone signed by a doctor and Lindgren.

During his investigation, Carlson learned a prescription for 60 oxycodone pills was issued for an inmate Jan. 31.

On Aug. 6, a prescription for 1,000 mg of Tylenol and 600 mg of Ibuprofen was issued for an inmate with a tooth injury. A prescription for oxycodone was issued the next day.

In both cases, the inmate’s medical file did not contain a narcotic medication card. Pursuant to jail policy, any inmate prescribed a narcotic medication is required to have a narcotic medication card in their file.

Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Lindgren’s residence and storage locker at the jail. Upon executing the search warrant at her residence, Lindgren was read her Miranda Rights and agreed to speak with Carlson.

She indicated in 2010 she had back surgery and was prescribed oxycodone, and later became addicted to it.

She admitted to obtaining oxycodone by using inmates’ names to secure prescriptions. She explained the jail doctor had left several signed, blank prescription forms at the jail for her to use if an inmate needed a prescription and he was not present at the jail. If this occurred, Lindgren would contact the doctor by phone, he would authorize the prescription over the phone and she would complete the prescription form.

Lindgren said she used the pre-signed prescription forms to obtain oxycodone, and that she did not have permission from the doctor to do so.

During the search of her residence, officers found 52 oxycodone pills in an Advil pill bottle, three loose oxycodone pills on a night stand in her bedroom, and a photocopy of a fax request for a prescription of oxycodone in an inmate’s name.