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Rawlins doctor sentenced for unlawful distribution of prescription pain pills

RAWLINS (WNE) — Dr. David Ray Cesko, 66, of Rawlins, was sentenced Dec. 21 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 60 months of imprisonment, to be followed by 72 months of supervised release, and was ordered to pay community restitution in the amount of $400 and a $2000 special assessment.

“Physicians hold a position of trust and we rely on them to 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 30 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 20 of the original charges, including charges that he unlawfully prescribed codeine cough syrup and opiates to minors and female patients, and, on several occasions 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.

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