Thursday, January 31, 2008

Body Snatcher: Stealing Parts from the Dead

PHILADELPHIA - A nurse admitted Wednesday he cut body parts from 244 corpses and helped forge paperwork so the parts, some of them diseased, could be used in unsuspecting patients.

Authorities say nurse Lee Cruceta was the lead cutter in a group that trafficked in more than 1,000 stolen body parts for the lucrative transplant market.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy, taking part in a corrupt organization, abuse of a corpse and 244 counts each of theft and forgery. Cruceta, 35, also has pleaded guilty to related charges in New York and negotiated pleas to serve concurrent sentences of 6 1/2 to 20 years.

Mr. Cruceta should also, I hope and assume, lose his license to practice nursing permanently!

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