A former Kansas City paramedic and firefighter pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing and using potent painkilling drugs while on duty.
Michael L. Fostich admitted that he removed vials of morphine and fentanyl from locked safes on ambulances throughout 2016 when he worked primarily out of the fire station at 32nd Street and Indiana Avenue.
After taking the drugs from their vials, he replaced them with another substance and placed the containers back in storage on ambulances.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark asked Fostich if he took the drugs for personal use or to supply to others.
"It was for myself, your honor," he said.
Fostich, 37, was indicted in March in U.S. District Court in Kansas City on charges of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and tampering with a consumer product.
He pleaded guilty Thursday to the fraud charge and prosecutors will drop the tampering charge as part of the plea agreement.
As part of his job, Fostich was required to document his usage of the pain medications on patients and his disposal of any unused drugs, according to court documents.
In 2016, according to the federal indictment, Fostich reported that he administered or disposed of 806 vials of fentanyl and 636 doses of morphine.
That accounted for 39 percent of the fentanyl and 63 percent of the morphine used by the entire Kansas City Fire Department that year, according to the indictment.
He was allowed to remain free on bond pending a sentencing hearing.