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Published September 22, 2010, 08:10 AM

Minn. firefighter accused of stealing painkiller

VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) — A northeastern Minnesota firefighter is accused of stealing and then injecting himself with a painkiller in an ambulance while transporting a patient last month.

VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) — A northeastern Minnesota firefighter is accused of stealing and then injecting himself with a painkiller in an ambulance while transporting a patient last month.

Forty-one-year-old John Ditzler of Virginia, Minn., is on paid administrative leave after being charged last week with felony theft.

Ditzler has been a member of the Virginia Fire Department since 2006. A court appearance is set for Oct. 1.

The Mesabi Daily News reports the complaint alleges the incident happened Aug. 17 while a patient was taken from Virginia to Duluth.

According to the complaint, Ditzler allegedly injected himself with fentanyl after administering some of the drug to a patient en route to St. Mary's in Duluth.

A telephone number for Ditzler could not be located.

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