Former Kenton County coroner indicted on drug charges

Accused of illegally distributing controlled substances such as oxycodone and OxyContin

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A federal grand jury indicted a former Kenton County coroner Thursday on charges he illegally distributed controlled substances such as oxycodone and OxyContin. 

According to court documents, the indictment accused 73-year-old David W. Suetholz, of Ludlow, Ky., a medical doctor who served as the elected county coroner for Kenton County until June 30, 2021, with unlawfully distributing opioids to three patients on 10 separate occasions between approximately September 2018 and February 2020.

A summons was issued and Suetholz has been directed to appear on Oct. 27. If convicted, Suetholz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count, prosecutors said in court documents. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was investigated by the DEA’s Detroit Field Division, Cincinnati District Office Diversion Group, the FBI’s Louisville Field Office, HHS-OIG’s Louisville Field Office, and the Kentucky MFCU.

Trial attorneys Chris Jason and Dermot Lynch and Assistant Chief Kilby Macfadden of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force. Since its inception in October 2018, the ARPO Strike Force, which operates in 10 districts, has charged more than 90 defendants who are collectively responsible for distributing more than 105 million pills. In addition, the Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

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