A former registered pharmacist at Shore Medical Center was arrested and charged Thursday with the stealing morphine and replacing it with saline at the hospital where he worked in 2014.

Detectives with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office arrested Frederick P. McLeish, 53, of Egg Harbor Township, at his home Thursday after a grand jury this week indicted him on charges of drug tampering, theft and drug possession.

According to the indictment, McLeish replaced morphine with saline solution in vials that were to be administered to patients at the hospital between July and September of 2014.

The hospital launched an internal investigation and brought in the state Division of Consumer Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office.

The hospital suspended McLeish in September of 2014 and later fired him. A representative from the hospital could not immediately be reached for comment.

In December of 2014, McLeish surrendered his state pharmacy license, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

McLeish was lodged Thursday at the Atlantic County jail on $20,000 bond set by Superior Court Judge Patricia Wild.

Detective Michael Peterson is investigating for the county.

If convicted, McLeish faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Staff writer