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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 9, 2018

Wyoming County Dentist Indicted For Unlawful Distribution Of Controlled Substances

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Wyoming County dentist, Christopher Bereznak, age 48, was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 6, 2018, for unlawfully distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the 9-count indictment alleges that beginning in June 2016 and continuing into July 2016, Bereznak unlawfully provided controlled substances to someone with whom he had no legitimate doctor/patient relationship, without legitimate medical necessity, and outside the scope of a professional practice.

Bereznak’s license to practice dentistry in Pennsylvania and his DEA registration have been suspended.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Scranton, the Olyphant Police Department, and the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for each offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Updated February 9, 2018