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Press Release

Mansfield Area Physician Sentenced to Prison for Prescribing Painkillers without Medical Necessity

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that Gary Frantz, 69, a Mansfield-area physician at the time of the offense conduct, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 on December 2, 2021, by Judge Benita Y. Pearson after Frantz pleaded guilty earlier this year to illegally, and without medical necessity, prescribing powerful painkillers.

Christopher Fulk, 44, of Mansfield, Ohio, was also sentenced in this matter to 30 months in prison.  Fulk pleaded guilty in August of 2020 to conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances, distribution of fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl and oxycodone.

According to court records, from January of 2005 through June of  2017, Frantz, a licensed medical practitioner in Mansfield, Ohio, distributed prescription painkillers, such as Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone and more, that were medically unnecessary and outside the usual course of professional practice to ten individuals. 

Frantz prescribed narcotics to customers whom he described as “patients”, often prescribing doses that far exceeded the standard of care, and at levels that were so high, they’re typically seen only in operating rooms and in end-of-life care.  In some instances, family members came to Frantz and raised concerns that their loved ones were taking too much medication; however, Frantz continued to distribute narcotics at excessive levels and in large doses.

Furthermore, Frantz distributed excessive quantities of narcotics to persons despite knowing that they had histories of substance abuse and in the face of multiple signs that they were addicted to the medication.  In some instances, pharmacists expressed concern to Frantz that the dosages and quantities of painkillers that he was prescribing and that some of his patients were filling prescriptions far too often.  Nevertheless, Frantz continued to prescribe these large doses.

Frantz also prescribed large doses of perception narcotics to Defendant Christopher Fulk, who was known as a “patient”.  During this time, Frantz wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions for excessively large quantities of controlled substances, including oxycodone pills and fentanyl patches, some of which Fulk then diverted and distributed to others.  Fulk sold thousands of oxycodone pills and hundreds of fentanyl patches that he received from Frantz to various customers in the Mansfield area.

This case was investigated by the DEA, METRICH Drug Task Force and the Mansfield Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret A. Sweeney and Edward F. Feran.

Updated December 3, 2021