A former Hanover Nursing Center nurse has been charged with 11 criminal counts following an investigation into the theft of prescription pain medications from residents at the facility.

Tony L. Smith, 41, of Hanover, faces three Level 5 felony counts of interference with medical services, three Level 6 felony counts of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony count of possession of a narcotic drug, a Level 6 felony count of possession of a controlled substance and three misdemeanor counts of theft. The charges – filed in Jefferson Superior Court Thursday – come after a nine-month investigation by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The probable cause affidavit said a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigator became aware of the case in January after a complaint was filed with the Indiana State Department of Health by Hanover Nursing Center officials on Nov. 24, 2014. The complaint alleged that narcotic count sheets for a nursing center resident were incorrect and tablets were missing from the resident’s prescriptions.

The complaint indicated that an investigation had been initiated at the facility, and Smith had been questioned after his signature was identified on the narcotics sheet. Smith then resigned his position as a licensed practical nurse with the facility, court records said.

A state investigator interviewed Hanover Nursing Center officials after receiving the case, and the officials confirmed Smith’s signatures were on the form and that Norco/Hydrocodone pills indicated on the pages were missing.

The investigation revealed another resident had Hydrocodone and Tramadol stolen over several days. Smith’s signature also was on those narcotic control sheets, court records said.

The investigation also discovered a third victim had 22 Hydrocodone pills that were unaccounted for but had allegedly been destroyed by Smith and another worker in November 2014. The narcotic control sheet and destruction record for the pills went missing and was never located. A facility official noted a review showed 40 or more pills should have been destroyed at that time.

Earlier this month, Smith admitted during an interview with the investigator that his signature was on one of the narcotic control sheets and that he had taken four or five of the Norco/Hydrocodone pills belonging to a resident, Hydrocodone and Tramadol from another resident on several occasions and Hydrocodone from a third resident.

Smith told the investigator he was an “addict,” court records said, and that he had become addicted to pain medication after being prescribed medication in 2012. He also told the state investigator he began taking medication from residents in 2012 after his prescription ran out.

The former employee indicated he would sign out the medication on the resident’s narcotic sheet, then keep the medication for himself. Smith said he knew the theft was “very wrong” and illegal, but he couldn’t stop because his addiction was so strong, the affidavit said.

Police arrested Smith Thursday after a warrant was issued. He posted a $1,000 cash-only bond the same day and was released from the Jefferson County Jail.

Smith appeared in Jefferson Superior Court Friday for an initial hearing where he entered a preliminary plea of not guilty to the charges.