Couple indicted for conspiracy to distribute prescription opioids, some to Wythe County

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ABINGDON, Va. (WDBJ7) - A federal grand jury in U.S. District Court in Abingdon has indicted a Charlotte, North Carolina-based doctor and his wife on charges that they conspired to illegally distribute prescription opioids to patients in the Western District of Virginia, including Wythe County, according to United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen.

David Francis Lelio, 56, and Nadja Siiri Kujanson-Lelio, 50 were each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute prescription opioids, specifically oxycodone. David Lelio was charged with an additional count of making a false statement. If convicted, they face imprisonment of up to 20 years on the conspiracy charge.

“As alleged in the indictment, this physician diverted prescription opioids without a legitimate medical purpose and was untruthful with federal investigators about his misconduct,” Cullen said. “We will continue to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of health-care providers who engage in illegal drug distribution.”

According to the indictment, between 2016 and 2019, Dr. David Lelio wrote more than 60 prescriptions for oxycodone to patients, some of whom resided in Wythe County, without a legitimate medical purpose. As part of the conspiracy, Dr. Lelio wrote opioid prescriptions in his patients’ names, with the understanding that some or all of the prescriptions would be shared with his wife.

Dr. Lelio and his wife then allegedly reimbursed the patients for the cost of filling the prescriptions. When asked by law enforcement about the conspiracy, Dr. Lelio said there was no agreement with any of his patients to return or share the prescription opioids with his wife, according to investigators.

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