Henderson Doctor Arraigned on Drug Distribution Charges
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Mahesh Kuthuru, M.D., 46, of Henderson, Nev. was arraigned by a federal magistrate judge this afternoon and pleaded not guilty to felony drug distribution charges that he unlawfully sold highly addictive prescription painkillers to persons who did not have a medical necessity for them, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
Kuthuru is charged in a criminal indictment with nine counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances. If convicted, he faces not more than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach released Kuthuru on a personal recognizance bond pending trial.
“Deaths from drug overdose, the majority from pharmaceuticals, have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have now become the leading cause of injury death in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The number of overdose deaths combined with the costs to the workplace and healthcare and criminal justice systems, is cause for great alarm. We will continue to prosecute doctors who are contributing to this enormous problem.”
According to the indictment, Kuthuru is a licensed physician in Nevada who represents himself to be a specialist in pain management. Kuthuru operates Desert Pain Management which has occupied various locations on Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas. Beginning on a date unknown and continuing through at least 2013, Kuthuru allegedly sold prescriptions for large quantities of highly addictive frequently diverted prescription drugs, including oxycodone, morphine sulfate and methadone without medical necessity.
This case is being investigated by the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (Nevada HIDTA) Pharm-Net Task Force, including the DEA, IRS Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department, and the Nevada Division of Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane M. Pomerantz.
An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.