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News Release
March 9, 2004

St. Louis Area Physician Has Been Indicted On Charges of Fraudulently Obtaining, Distributing and Possessing Prescription Drugs

St. Louis, Missouri: A St. Louis area physician has been indicted on charges of fraudulently obtaining, distributing and possessing prescription drugs, DEA Special Agent in Charge William Renton and United States Attorney Ray Gruender announced today.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Reginald Harris is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

RUSSELL J. CHLYSTA, M.D., 55, of the 9000 block Spyglass Place Drive, O’Fallon, Missouri, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two felony counts of distribution of Dilaudid tablets and Methadone tablets, two felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one felony count of possession of Dilaudid. The indictment was returned Thursday, March 4, but remained sealed until the arrest of the defendant earlier today.

If convicted, Chlysta faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each of Counts I & II; four years in prison on each of Counts III & IV/ and one year in prison on Count V; and/or fines up to $1,000,000.

According to the indictment, on October 30, 2003, Chlysta distributed a quantity of Dilaudid and Methadone tablets outside the scope of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purposes. Counts III and IV of the indictment alleges that on the same date, Chlysta obtained Dilaudid and Methadone tablets by fraudulent prescriptions. Finally, Count V of the indictment alleges that Chlysta possessed Dilaudid without a valid prescription.

Marsha R. Jones, Diversion Program Manager, DEA St. Louis Division stated, "It is unfortunate when someone who has worked so long and hard to attain the position of medical doctor willfully abuses the privileges given to him as part of that license.”

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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