RAWLINS DOCTOR, Dr. DAVID RAY CESKO SENTENCED FOR UNLAWFUL DISTRIBUTION OF PRESCRIPTION PAIN PILLS
(STL.News) Dr. DAVID RAY CESKO, 66, of Rawlins, Wyoming was sentenced on December 21st in U.S. District Court by Chief Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl following a guilty plea to multiple charges that, as a physician, Cesko unlawfully distributed controlled substances, primarily opiates and benzodiazepines, to his patients. Cesko received a sentence of sixty months of imprisonment, to be followed by seventy-two months of supervised release, and ordered to pay community restitution in the amount of $400.00 and a $2000.00 special assessment.
“Physicians hold a position of trust and we rely on them act in the interest of their patients, not prescribe medications inappropriately or without medical necessity,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen. “Dr. Cesko abused his privilege as a prescriber for his personal benefit and must be held accountable.”
Cesko was charged by a Wyoming federal grand jury in March of 2019 in a thirty count indictment following a lengthy, collaborative investigation by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The charges alleged that Cesko had, without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the course of professional practice, unlawfully prescribed pain killers and other controlled substances to multiple patients. Some evidence indicates that Cesko’s romantic interest in certain female patients may have motivated his actions. At the hearing in February, pursuant to a plea agreement, Cesko pleaded guilty to twenty of the original charges, including charges that he unlawfully prescribed codeine cough syrup and opiates to minor, female patients, and, on several occasions, that he unlawfully prescribed opiates to a pregnant minor.
As part of the plea agreement Cesko also agreed to forever relinquish his medical license and prescription authority. Assistant United States Attorney Stuart S. Healy III represented the government.
“It’s clear that Dr. Cesko was not upholding his oath to do no harm when he was fraudulently prescribing medication to his patients,” said Deanne Reuter Special Agent in Charge, DEA Denver Field Division. “The DEA will be there to make sure doctors who violate their oath in this manner will be held accountable under the law.”