Polk County, Florida’s 2020 “Paramedic of the Year” has been arrested due for stealing COVID vaccines that were meant for first responders.

Joshua Colon, 31, was arrested on Monday after confessing to stealing three doses of the Moderna vaccine and then proceeding to forge paperwork to cover up his actions.

According to the Polk County Sheriff, Colon had stolen the vaccines at the request of his supervisor, Capt. Tony Damiano, who was seeking out the vaccine for his elderly mother. He resisted at first, until Damiano threatened to inform higher-ups that Colon had been selling them for his own profit.

“Joshua tried to cover for the captain; Joshua set up the circumstances for vaccines to be stolen,” the Sheriff stated. “Had Joshua simply gone to his boss right then, he would have been a hero.”

Two of the missing vaccines were found on the front seat of Colon’s vehicle, both of which were no longer able to be used due to the fact that Moderna vaccines must be refrigerated to be viable. One dose is still unaccounted for.

Colon resigned from his position at Polk County Fire Rescue on Friday, before his arrest. He currently faces 12 felony and two misdemeanor charges, including four counts of forgery, four counts falsifying medical records, two counts creating fictional personal IDs and official misconduct. Damiano is currently under investigation.

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