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Pennsylvania Doctor Charged with Deaths of Opioid Overdose of Five Patients

April 07, 2022

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

On December 21, 2017, federal prosecutors in Harrisburg, PA announced a Pennsylvania doctor has been charged with the deaths of five patients. The doctor allegedly caused the deaths from an opioid overdose. Over a 19-month time span that ended in July, Dr. Raymond Kraynak prescribed almost 3 million doses of opioids. Kraynak issued more prescriptions for opioid than any other Pennsylvania physician during that 19-month period, according to a state monitoring program claims prosecutors.

Kraynak, a 60-year-old male from Mount Carmel, was indicted on five counts of drug delivery resulting in death as well as 12 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, and two counts using his medical offices as drug involved premises. The names of the patients have not been released by authorities but they did confirm the deaths occurred between 2013 and 2015.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office Kraynak issued prescriptions without performing proper medical exams, confirming his patients’ medical issues or determining any drug abuse risk. They said during the 19-month period he prescribed roughly 2.8 million dosage units of opioids to around 2,800 patients.

If convicted of the five counts of drug delivery resulting in death, he could face a mandatory minimum 20-year sentence for each count. These charges are usually filed in cases involving accused heroin dealers, according to Tom Thornton, the defense lawyer.

Criminal Murder Cases Are Complex

Criminal murder cases are already difficult and charging a doctor with drug delivery resulting in death opens an even wider arena in the area of criminal law. With the opioid and heroin epidemics continuing to grow, prosecutors are taking serious measures against drug dealers. The charge of drug delivery resulting in death is very difficult to prove and forces responsibility on drug suppliers that was not possible before. The government will want to fight these cases fiercely. Prosecutors have no sympathy for you. Criminal cases rely on evidence, witness testimony, and expert witnesses. You need an attorney who will provide you the best defense possible. The sooner you hire an attorney, the quicker we can start building your defense. The case will require time, resilience, and patience and we will give you our full effort. Your personal freedom and life is at stake, make sure you choose a lawyer who has your liberties foremost.

Use Your Right to Remain Silent

If you have been charged with murder, you need to hire an attorney immediately. You need a skilled Philadelphia murder attorney with you at all times. Once you have been arrested, ask for a lawyer and do not answer any more questions. What you think is an innocent statement can be easily manipulated by police. The attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim are ready to fight back with a vengeance. We will put all our dedication and energy into your defense so you can continue to enjoy your freedom. This emerging area of law should be handled by attorneys who understand and care about just not winning the case but about you.



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