MOUNT CARMEL -- Federal investigators accuse a doctor in Northumberland County of operating a “Pill Mill” saying he illegally prescribed painkillers to thousands of people at his offices Mount Carmel and Shamokin.
Dr. Raymond Kraynak is facing several federal charges including some in connection to five of his patients.
The U.S. Attorney's Office along with the DEA and state police say that since 2005, Kraynak illegally prescribed opioid painkillers to thousands of patients, leading to the deaths of five of those people between 2013 and 2015.
“That's sad for the people, the families and it just puts fear in the other doctors trying to do their jobs for the right people,” said Andrew Falton of Mount Carmel.
In Mount Carmel, people were stunned to hear how large a drug operation Kraynak was allegedly running.
“That definitely blows my mind, that's crazy,” said Falton.
“Yeah, exactly, Mount Carmel's a small little town, you know, so that makes it even more surprising,” said Stephanie Buczkowski.
Even after Kraynak was led from his office in Mount Carmel in handcuffs by drug enforcement agents.
His patients continued to show up for appointments only to find the place closed.
“Closed for emergency,” said patient Paul Ogonek.
Investigators say between 2016 and 2017 Kraynak prescribed the most controlled substances of any other doctor in Pennsylvania.
They accuse him off feeding the opioid epidemic.
“In a sense, it's disheartening because nobody can deny that this crisis is in the public domain and physicians certainly know it,” said U.S. Attorney David Freed.
But Mandy Karycki says she knows Dr. Kraynak
She says he's done a lot of good for the community.
“I get what's going on but he's a great guy and he's done quite a bit of good in the community so I would hope that people remember that during the course of everything,” said Karycki.
Dr. Kraynak is not charged with homicide for the deaths of those patients.
He is charged with drug delivery resulting in death.
He is locked up and has a bail hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday in federal court.