Adams County, Ill., paramedic arrested in Monroe City for possession of morphine, drug paraphernalia

Cohl Cook

Cohl Cook | Photo courtesy of Monroe City Police Department

MONROE CITY, Mo. — An Adams County, Ill., paramedic faces charges of possession of a controlled substance after he was caught with two expired vials of morphine and other drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop in Monroe City, Mo.

The charges are Class D felonies, which are punishable for between one and seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

A probable cause statement filed by the Monroe City Police Department says officers stopped Cohl Cook, 29, of Barry, Ill., on Feb. 23 at approximately 1:35 p.m. in the Orscheln Farm & Home parking lot for a license plate that expired more than a year ago.

While conducting a search of Cook’s car, officers found Cook in possession of two used vials of morphine sulfate injection with a small amount of liquid inside. The vials expired in November 2022.

Other items found inside his car were two Quick Connect Monoject syringes used to attach to the vial, two tamper-proof caps for vial holders, one Monoject Connect cover and a 20g IV catheter.

Cook was transported to the Monroe City Police Department.

According to the probable cause statement, Cook told police he was a paramedic, and he used the morphine vials for work. He couldn’t remember what time of day he used them. Cook said it was normal procedure to dump vials into a designated location, but it was not normal procedure to place them in his pocket. He also said he knew he was not allowed to possess narcotics while he was off-duty.

A contact from Adams County Ambulance Service in Quincy, Ill., tracked the vials and discovered the expired vials were taken off the ambulance on Nov. 1 to go to waste. The contact advised the vials should not have been in Cook’s possession and were not used during a call.

A contact from the Adams County Ambulance Service inspected the vials, advising the unused plunger indicates a separate syringe removed the morphine. The contact also advised the tamper proof cap would have been thrown away upon opening the vials.

According to the statement, Cook said he “must have forgotten they were there.” The statement then noted the vials were sitting in an open compartment under the radio, observable from the driver’s seat.

John Simon, director of the Adams County Ambulance Service, confirmed that Cook had been employed as a paramedic but no longer is.

Cook’s arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 22 at the Ralls County Courthouse in New London, Mo.

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