Rhode Island State Prisoner Gets $1 Million Liver Transplant At Taxpayer Expense


CRANSTON, RHODE ISLAND – An inmate at the Adult Correctional Institutions received a liver transplant at a Boston hospital last week, making him the first Rhode Island prisoner to undergo an organ transplant, a corrections spokeswoman said Monday.

The inmate is Jose Pacheco, 27, who is serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for robbery.

Liver transplant operation costs can top $1 million. The state will be required, by court precedent, to pay 40 percent of the expenses, with the remaining 60 percent covered by Medicare.

Pacheco was sentenced in June 2011 after pleading no contest to second-degree robbery, possession of stolen car parts and conspiracy. Since 2006, he has also been sentenced multiple times on assorted drug-possession charges, including possession of and intent to deliver cocaine.

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