News Story


Former Hospice Nurse Arrested for Manslaughter
1/6/2017 4:01:00 PM



News Story Release


Nature of Incident:

Former Hospice Nurse Arrested for Manslaughter and Drug Dealing

Report Number:



500 Block of Roosevelt, Oxnard

Date & Time:

August 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit

Ventura Police Department


(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(S) Sandra Rothweiler

(V) Della Gleeson










On July 31, 2015, the Ventura Police Department responded to an apartment in the 6700 block of Telephone Road, in the City of Ventura. They discovered Della Gleeson was deceased and suspected she died from a possible prescription drug overdose. Officers from the Ventura Police Department and personnel from the Medical Examiner's Office determined a possible source of supply of prescription medication to Gleeson was Sandra Rothweiler.  The investigation revealed Rothweiler had previously taken care of Gleeson's mother in 2014 when she was on hospice and she and Gleeson became friends from that interaction.  Rothweiler and Gleeson remained in contact after Gleeson's mother's death in the middle of 2014. 


The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PCU) assumed the investigation when it was learned Rothweiler lived in Oxnard and worked for a hospice located in Thousand Oaks. 


Investigators from the PCU gathered additional evidence relating Rothweiler to illegal activity regarding prescription medication and her employment. Specifically, investigators learned Rothweiler was hoarding medication that she acquired when a patient under her care died.


On August 14, 2015, a search warrant was served at Rothweiler's residence in the 500 block of Roosevelt, Oxnard.  A significant amount of medication was found in Rothweiler's residence.  The medication included OxyContin, Alprazolam (Xanax), Morphine, and Methylphenidate (Ritalin).  Evidence was obtained that also implicated Rothweiler in supplying Gleeson with prescription opiate medication.


Rothweiler was only arrested at the time for possession for sale of the prescription medication found in her residence. 


Since August 2015, Detectives continued their investigation into Rothweiler's possible role in Gleeson's death. On January 6, 2017, the Ventura County District Attorney filed a criminal complaint against Rothweiler alleging drug dealing and manslaughter.  A warrant was issued for her and she was arrested. Rothweiler is currently in custody at the Ventura County Main Jail with a bail of $100,000.  Her court date is pending.


The public may contact investigators from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or with additional information about this case, other cases involving hospice, or any other information related to narcotics.


The public may dispose of unwanted prescription medication by taking it to the Simi Valley Police Department, Port Hueneme Police Department, or any Ventura County Sheriff's Office station.  


The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force made up of members from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Simi Valley Police Department, Thousand Oaks Police Department, the California Highway Patrol,  the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation, and the California Department of Health Care Services. The primary mission of the task force is combatting the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market. In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdose deaths due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use. 



Prepared by:

Sergeant Victor Fazio



News Release Date:

January 6, 2017


Media Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Robert Davidson

(805) 947-8705



Approved by:

Captain Robert Thomas