A nurse at a Polk County jail is facing charges after she allegedly stole pain medications from the facility, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities said 39-year-old Griseida Montanez, of Brandon, was caught speeding in Mulberry around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The deputy who pulled her over detected the smell of marijuana coming from her car and found three cannabis cigarettes inside of her vehicle, two of which were partially smoked.

The deputy also found a bag containing two urine cups, one of which contained 16 round white pills, identified as Baclofen 20 mg, a muscle relaxer, and 16 capsules, identified as Gabapentin, an anti-seizure, nerve disorder medication.

When questioned, Montanez told the deputy she did not have a prescription for the pills and said she took them from the jail because they were scheduled to be destroyed. 

“She admitted that she had no authority to remove the medication from the facility,” the arrest report states.

Montanez was arrested and charged with two counts of grand theft of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a drug without a prescription, possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence. 

Montanez is an employee of Corizon Health, which has a contract to provide medical services for the South County Jail in Frostproof.

Corizon Health says “it’s unacceptable for nurses to take the pills and the acceptable practice is to give the unused pills back to the pharmacy for disposal,” according to the news release. 

A spokesperson from Corizon Health emailed 8 On Your Side, “Our employees receive criminal background checks in order to work inside a jail or a prison. In Polk County, the sheriff’s office conducts the background check and issues the security clearance, which is the way it is done at most facilities. Corizon conducts drug tests on all new hires.”

Montanez lost her security clearance after her arrest.