Opioid crisis hits home again, this time in McLean County criminal case


James Rellihan
McLean County prosecutors have filed charges against a nurse, James Rellihan, with removing opioid patches from two nursing home patients last month.
(McLean County Jail photo)

By Howard Packowitz

BLOOMINGTON – McLean County prosecutors have charged a nurse with stealing painkilling opioid patches from patients at two local nursing homes last month.

A judge set bond for James Rellihan, 31, of Bloomington at $50,000, meaning he’ll have to come up with $5,035 to be released on burglary and theft charges.

Rellihan worked at Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health Care Center on South Main Street. In court, Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Horve said Rellihan went there on his day off February 24 and took three fentanyl patches off a terminally ill patient’s body.

“It will be OK,” Rellihan reportedly told the patient.

Two days later, Rellihan allegedly went to a former place of employment, Heritage Manor on Adelaide Street in Normal, and removed a fentanyl patch from a dementia patient.

Horve said Rellihan denied taking, using, or selling the patches. The prosecutor said Bloomington and Normal Police are still investigating.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at howard.packowitz@cumulus.com


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