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HALIFAX—A Halifax paramedic is facing criminal charges after being accused of stealing opioids from hospital drug vaults.

Police say Darrell Bardua, 52, of Seaforth, N.S. removed hydromorphone from vials that were stored in drug vaults at three local hospitals.

Bardua is an Emergency Health Services (EHS) paramedic, and has been placed on leave.

In a news release Friday, police said EHS reported a problem with its hydromorphone inventory on May 9.

A police investigation lead to four charges against Bardua, laid on June 21. They include: breach of trust, criminal negligence, theft under $5,000, and mischief under $5,000.

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EHS removed all potentially affected vials of hydromorphone. The painkilling drug is an opioid made from morphine, commonly sold under the brand name Dilaudid.

Bardua was released on a promise to appear in court. He is scheduled to appear at Dartmouth provincial court on Aug. 15.

In an interview Friday afternoon, Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. John McLeod wouldn’t name the three hospitals where it’s alleged the drugs were taken from.

He said EHS came to them because “they believed something was out of the norm” in relation to the inventory for the drug and no other charges are expected in the case.

In an emailed statement to StarMetro, EHS spokeswoman Jean Spicer-Moore said they called police because “a discrepancy was detected” through its narcoting auditing process.

“EHS immediately replaced all potentially affected medication within the EHS system. There is no evidence of any patient impact,” she said by email.

Spicer-Moore also noted the incident has been reported to the College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia in accordance with the Paramedics Act.

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“EHS is cooperating fully with the police and supporting its employees at this difficult time,” she also said by email. “As this is an employee matter and still being investigated, we cannot provide further information at this time.”