The opioid addiction crisis continues to rage throughout the United States. Kentucky is one of the hardest hit areas, ranking 5th in overdose deaths in 2017, the most recent year for which complete numbers are available. In an effort to stem the flow of the drugs, a recent federal investigation culminated in many arrests and drug crimes charges. A Kentucky doctor from Sycamore Township was among those arrested.

The federal investigation involved many physicians in a number of areas across Appalachia. One Kentucky doctor was accused of prescribing opioids via Facebook. He allegedly signed prescriptions without ever seeing or personally meeting patients. There are said to be 60 people who have been accused.

The arrests resulted from a two-part investigation. Data from prescription-monitoring programs and Medicaid billing information were used to locate potential prescribing offenders. The second part of the investigation involved undercover officers infiltrating and gathering data on the suspect list. The arrests occurred after the evidence had been collected.

Anyone accused of a federal crime, in Kentucky or elsewhere, is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. Proving guilt falls to the prosecution and must be supported by the evidence presented. There are rules and procedures that must be followed in procuring the evidence and in securing the evidence from the time of procurement until the time of a trial. A person accused of drug crimes may wish to consult with a defense attorney who can assist in assessing whether the evidence was appropriately procured and secured. The attorney can also ensure that the accused is aware of his or her rights and can help to see that those rights are protected throughout the criminal justice process.