Overdose death leads to federal investigation in southwest Virginia

Local News

ABINGDON, Va. (WFXR) – The death of a man in Wythe County has lead to federal charges against a doctor and his wife in Charlotte, N.C.

David Francis Lelio, 57 and Nadja Siiri Kujanson-Lelio, 50, both from Charlotte, N.C. appeared in court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute prescription opioids, specifically Oxycodone.

David Lelio also pleaded guilty to an additional count of making a false statement.

Back on February 14, 2019, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Ridgeland Drive in Max Meadows about a deceased male. When deputies arrived, they found Michael Miles, 63, of Charlotte, N.C. who was dead. Deputies obtained a search warrant for the residents and found multiple prescriptions, including Oxycodone, that were prescribed by Dr. David Lelio.

According to U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen, both individuals admitted that Dr. David Lelio wrote more than 60 prescriptions for Oxycodone to patients, some of who resided in Wythe County, without a medical purpose.

Dr. Lelio is said to also have written opioid prescriptions in his patients’ names with the understanding that some or all of the prescriptions would be shared with his wife, Nadja Kujanson-Lelio. Dr. Lelio and his wife then reimbursed the patients for the cost of filling the prescriptions. Dr. Lelio falsely stated, when asked by law enforcement about the conspiracy, that there was no agreement with any of his patients to return or share the prescription opioids with his wife.

David Lelio and Nadja Kujanson-Lelio will both be sentenced on Dec. 10, 2020.

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