An Iowa nurse has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing pain pills from his patients.

Fifty-eight-year-old James Allen Moorehead of Mason City admits that in 2016 and 2017 — while he worked at Franklin General Hospital in Hampton — he stole prescription pain meds from his patients and faked entries on patient records to cover up the theft. He was specifically stealing hydrocodone pills for himself and giving patients Tylenol instead.

A decade ago Moorehead was fired from North Iowa Mercy Health Center and Genesis Health Center in Mason City for stealing opioids. Moorehead surrendered his nursing license in 2008. The Iowa Board of Nursing reinstated his nursing license in 2011. The federal judge who sentenced Moorehead said he had used his second chance at a nursing job to victimize vulnerable patients.

Moorehead has been ordered to pay a $20,000 fine in addition to serving three years in a federal prison. In addition, federal officials say Moorehead lied about his assets in order to get a court-appointed attorney. The judge ordered Moorehead’s attorney to come up with a bill that Moorehead should pay, rather than taxpayers.