Accused pill mill doc released from jail, but booted from medical marijuana program

In a Dec. 5, 2012 photo, Dr. Raymond Kraynak is photographed during the The Mount Carmel Area School Board annual reorganization meeting at the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center in Coal Township, Pa. Federal prosecutors are accusing Kraynak, a Pennsylvania doctor who prescribed nearly 3 million opioids during a recent 19-month period, of causing the overdose deaths of five people several years ago. The U.S. attorney’s office in Harrisburg on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, announced the charges of drug delivery resulting in death against 60-year-old Kraynak of Mount Carmel, Pa. .

NOTE: This story was published Aug. 7, 2019. A federal judge has since granted an order regarding the request.

WILLIAMSPORT — Dr. Raymond Kraynak asked a federal judge this week to delay the jury selection and trial for his criminal case for the seventh time.

Federal authorities accused 61-year-old Kraynak at the time of his arrest in 2017 of once having operated Pennsylvania’s largest pill mill during the heroin and opioid epidemic. Jury selection is still scheduled for Oct. 7 with a trial to follow at the federal courthouse in Williamsport. A judge has not ruled on the motion.

Kraynak’s court-appointed attorney, Thomas A. Thornton, assistant federal public defender, requested a continuance this week. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Behe, the lead prosecutor, concurs with the request.

Thorton's court documents make the same argument from previous filings. He wrote in a court motion: "Taking into consideration the complexity of this case, the amount of discovery to be reviewed, and the amount of investigation that will be required, counsel is in need of additional time to prepare for trial."

Federal agents arrested Kraynak, of Mount Carmel, on Dec. 21, 2017. He’s charged with 12 counts of illegal distribution or dispensing, five counts of illegal distribution or dispensing resulting in death, two counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises for his offices in Mount Carmel and Shamokin.

The indictment states Kraynak allegedly prescribed more than 6 million opioids, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and fentanyl, between May 2012 and July 2017. Prosecutors seek to hold him responsible for the overdose deaths of five patients that occurred between October 2013 and May 2015. Officials have not identified the alleged victims.

Kraynak is free on $500,000 unsecured bail. His medical license is suspended indefinitely by the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine until the conclusion of the criminal case, according to the Department of State.

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