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Jason R.H. Castle

A Paintsville doctor pleaded guilty late last week to charges of distributing fentanyl, charges which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

According to court documents, on Jan. 8, Jason R.H. Castle M.D., 42, of Kaladar Drive, Staffordsville, pleaded guilty to the eight charges in connection with the filing of an information case against him.

According to the information documents, as a licensed doctor practicing at two clinics — Eastern Kentucky Family Medicine and New Age Vitality Clinic — in Paintsville, he was

registered with federal and state authorities to prescribe Schedule II-IV controlled substances.

Included in that was fentanyl, which the document point out is a Schedule II controlled substance, “that is a power synthetic opioid analgesic that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.”

According to the information, between August and October of last year, Castle did, “knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, fentanyl …”

According to a plea agreement in the case, on or around Aug. 6, 2020, Castle learned that he was being investigated due to his prescribing of fentanyl. Regardless, the agreement said, between Aug. 13 and Oct. 14, Castle issued prescriptions for 90 dosage units of Duragesic 100 mcg/hr patches to three patients.

“(Castle) knowingly distributed these fentanyl prescriptions by signing and issuing these prescriptions outside the usual course of professional practice,” the agreement said. “(Castle) knew the prescriptions were not issued for a legitimate medical purpose within the usual course of professional practice, and deliberately ignored that fact.”

The charges each carry potential penalties of a maximum of 20 years in prison, a maximum $1 million fine and supervised release of at least three years.

According to the court documents, on Jan. 8, Castle appeared with his attorney, Brandon Marshall, before U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier to waive an indictment and plead guilty to the charges. Castle is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30.

Castle was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center following the hearing.

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