Louisville, Kentucky - A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Kentucky returned an indictment Thursday charging a former elected county coroner with illegally distributing controlled substances such as oxycodone and OxyContin. 

According to court documents, David W. Suetholz, 73, of Ludlow, Kentucky, a medical doctor who served as the elected county coroner for Kenton County, Kentucky, until June 30, 2021, unlawfully distributed 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. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Special Agent in Charge Keith W. Martin of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Detroit Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Atlanta Region; Acting Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office; and Executive Director W. Bryan Hubbard of the Kentucky Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office made the announcement.

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.

Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in this case should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website for more information.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.