A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

12 medical professionals, including a NKY dentist, face criminal charges for distribution of opioids

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Fourteen people, including 12 medical professionals, face criminal charges in Kentucky and five other states, for their alleged involvement in crimes related to the unlawful distribution of opioids, it was announced on Wednesday.

During a press conference in Cincinnati, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said the charges grew out of an investigation by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force (ARPO) in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

“Today’s Opioid Enforcement Action highlights the Justice Department’s latest efforts in responding to the nation’s opioid epidemic, which last year alone caused the tragic loss of life for more than 75,000 people in the United States due to overdose,” he said. “The Department of Justice will continue to work tirelessly with its partners to combat this epidemic, and to seek to prevent the next tragic loss of life.”

Two of the cases involved Kentucky physicians, according to Polite.

One of them saw a Northern Kentucky dentist, Jay M. Sadrinia, 59, of Villa Hills, charged with unlawfully prescribing morphine. In August 2020, this dentist issued three opioid prescriptions to a 24-year-old patient in a five-day period. The patient died from a morphine overdose, allegedly from one of the prescriptions the dentist issued during those five days. Sadrinia faces 20 years to life in prison, if convicted.

In another case, 59-year-old Dr. Loey Kousa of Paintsville was charged with unlawfully prescribing opioids to patients whose health care treatments were paid for by taxpayer-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The defendant allegedly preyed on these patients for continued access in order to bill these programs for medically unnecessary procedures. He could also receive a lengthy prison term, if found guilty.

“When we helped announce ARPO strike forces in 2019 we said it would be an enduring commitment to stamp out illegal opioid trafficking by prescription pad and we meant it,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker, for the Southern District of Ohio. “As is evident by the results announced today, we will continue to bring coordinated enforcement actions to address the opioid scourge plaguing the region.”

Over the past three years, ARPO has charged 111 defendants with crimes related to the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids, according to Polite.

“Together, these defendants issued prescriptions for over 115 million controlled substance pills.”

Polite said there are around 16 such strike forces throughout the United States. Some like ARPO are regional in nature, others concentrate on individual cities or states.

He added their efforts will continue to end the opioid crisis in Kentucky and other states.

Overdose deaths attributed to opioids have continued to rise in the country, even as the crisis was overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, for the first time more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses over a 12-month period.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment