Tech Sells Clean Drug Tests for Cash

An investigation led by the Michigan Department of Corrections and the Michigan State Police found that a urine tech was accepting cash from parolees in exchange for negative test results.
Nina Fenton
Published on

Ronald L. McKethern. 58, is headed to the Circuit Court in Saginaw, Michigan after an undercover investigation uncovered that he was taking cash bribes and providing negative drug test results in turn while performing his job as a urine technician. McKethern was arrested in September and is being charged with obstruction of justice, a felony, and may be looking at a maximum of five years in prison if found guilty.

Prior to his arrest, McKethern’s was a urine technician employed by Bay Technical Staffing. The company was contracted to conduct urine drug tests on parolees with a criminal history for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). The test subjects in question were required to submit urine samples to ensure that they were drug free and in compliance with the terms of their parole.

Probation drug testing those on parole is an important part of their reintegration into society and something the MDOC uses to old them accountable, according to Saginaw County’s, Sheriff Bill Federspiel. He says, “We give them the opportunity to come in, encouraging them not to use drugs or alcohol that they’ve been instructed not to use, and in the event that they choose to use drugs, at that point we catch them.”

The Investigation

MDOC launched an investigation with the help of the Michigan State Police after suspecting that McKethern’s was falsifying the results of the drug tests he was responsible for conducting in exchange for a some sort of cash payment. Holly Kramer, of the MDOC, said of McKethern’s, “He started working with us in December of 2014, and we suspected him of accepting money in exchange for negative test results in July and began investigating with the Michigan State Police at that time.”

Their suspicions were indeed correct as the investigation uncovered that the he was receiving $50 in exchange for providing negative results for on-site drug testing services. As if committing fraud for personal gain wasn’t bad enough, the investigation also uncovered the fact that none of the parolees who paid for his unscrupulous services were ever actually tested.

In the end, it was McKethern’s greed that would ultimately be his undoing. He sealed his own fate when he conducted one last exchange with an undercover police officer posing as a parolee in need of a negative test result. Little did he know that the officer was involved an investigation that was building quite case against him.

After the exchange with the undercover officer, there was enough evidence at that point to arrest McKetherns. So, the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET) quickly swooped in before he could receive more bribes and sign off on additional fraudulent test results.

Upon his arrest, he was found with a substantial amount of cash on his person and admitted to his wrong doing. The MDOC and the Michigan State Police suspect that many of the negative test results produced while McKetherns was the urine technician on duty would have actually been positive, but there is nothing that can be done to rectify that situation now. However, you can bet that MDOC will be extra vigilant from here on out.

If you’re in the Michigan area and in need of confidential, reliable and accurate drug testing services, check out our Mount Pleasant, MI location.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

FEATURED IN

Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.

FEATURED IN

Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.