SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Martin Evers, age 61, a Pike County, Pennsylvania, physician, was indicted on August 28, 2019, by a federal grand jury for unlawfully distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose resulting in death.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that in September 2014, Evers unlawfully provided prescriptions for fentanyl and methadone, both Schedule II controlled substances, and diazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, that caused the death of one of his patients.

Evers appeared before Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick today for his arraignment and was released under pre-trial supervision by Federal Probation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

The charges stem from an investigation by Drug Diversion agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting the case.

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 this offense is life 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.