On Friday, December 5, 2014, PCSO undercover Narcotics Detectives arrested 38-year-old Alicia Grasso-Gutierrez of 3224 Bliss Road in Orange Park, who is a practicing veterinarian at Veterinary Healthcare Associates on Dundee Road in Winter Haven, for the theft of controlled substances from the business.
According to the affidavit, Grasso-Gutierrez accessed the safe at the clinic, withdrew liquid Hydromorphone (AKA Dilaudid) from a bottle with a syringe and refilled the empty bottle with saline. When confronted, Grass-Gutierrez told detectives that she is addicted to the narcotic and became addicted while having back pain. The theft was witnessed by another staff member at the clinic, and recorded on video surveillance.
Grasso-Gutierrez has been booked into the Polk County Jail on the following charges:
- One count Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia (M-1)
- One count Grand Theft of Controlled Substance (F-3)
- One count Possession of Hydromorphone (F-3)
- One count Petit Theft (M-2)
We are grateful to the clinical staff at Veterinary Healthcare Associates for immediately alerting us to this doctor's theft of narcotics, and for their cooperation during this investigation. Medical professionals should be trusted to treat their patients with the utmost care and concern, and not abuse or steal drugs they have access to. This suspect's behavior is inexcusable." - Sheriff Grady Judd