Police: St. Clair County employee steals powerful drug from animal clinic

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by Lauren Trager / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 2:39 PM

(KMOV) –A St. Clair County government worker is accused of stealing a powerful drug only to turn around and sell it on the streets.

Chelsea Gutgsell is charged with stealing a drug used by veterinarians which is common in date rape cases. Authorities have not recovered the drugs.

Gutgsell was a 10-year employee of the county animal control service handling the drug that could now be in the hands of sexual predators.

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson is very concerned that Ketamine is now somewhere on the streets.

“If they fall into the wrong hands they can be used as the date rape drug,” said Sheriff Watson.

Sheriff Watson said Gutgsell admitted to taking two vials of Ketamine back in September. Veterinarians often use that drug as a sedative for pet surgeries.

“We use it along with a tranquilizer to help the animals go under the anesthetic,” said Dr. Janet Linton with the Belleville Animal Clinic.

But the drug also has a serious street value and can be used for perverse purposes.

That’s why at the Belleville Animal Clinic, every federal standard is followed: the drugs are locked up and employees keep a careful log.

The exact same procedure noticed the missing vials at St. Clair County Animal Control and prompted the investigation. The sheriff said they’re doing all they can now to get the drugs back under lock and key.

“It’s unfortunate that an employee did this, but she is going to pay the price,” he said.

If convicted, Gutgsell could be sentenced to up to 11 years in prison.

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