WHEELING, W.Va. — U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said his office will continue to prosecute drug epidemic cases despite a decision by a jury to acquit a pair doctors working out of Weirton.
Following an eight-day trial that included eight hours of deliberations, a federal jury in Wheeling Thursday found Dr. Krishan Kumar Aggarwal, 75, of Moon Township, Pa., and Dr. Cherian John, of Coraopolis, Pa., 66, not guilty of charges that they wrote illegitimate prescriptions for suboxone, some of which were paid for by Medicaid and Medicare.
Powell responded to jury’s verdict in a statement released Friday morning:
“The jury returned not guilty verdicts against Dr. Aggarwal and Dr. John. Notwithstanding the verdict, we remain steadfast in our intention to prosecute matters which we believe, based upon the evidence, support prosecution. Jury trials are an adversarial process and do not provide guaranteed results. Though we disagree with the jury in this case, the jury has spoken and that is part of the process, which we have the utmost respect for. Our team worked very hard and this verdict will not deter our efforts on the opioid front,” Powell said.
Attorney Ron Chapman represented Aggarwal and said he was confident from the beginning the jury would find his client not guilty.
“We are happy about what this verdict says for addiction medicine physicians in the United Sates and that the practice of medicine has been upheld,” Chapman said.
Aggarwal and John contracted with Redirections Treatment Advocates, LLC, in Weirton.