West Virginia Record

Monday, September 23, 2019

Kostenko seeks to have federal drug distribution sentence vacated

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 9, 2019


BECKLEY — A former doctor who was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for distribution of oxycodone has filed court documents in an attempt to vacate his sentence.

Michael Kostenko filed the motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence Aug. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, citing eight different grounds, including coercion of the guilty plea, failure to investigate and miscarriage of justice.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Omar J. Aboulhosn filed an order Aug. 8 ordering the federal government to file an answer to the allegations on or before Oct. 15.


Kostenko

"Movant’s Section 2255 Motion contains numerous grounds alleging ineffective assistance of counsel by his court-appointed trial counsel, E. Ward Morgan and Derrick W. Lefler. It is hereby ordered that Mr. Morgan and Mr. Lefler shall file an affidavit responding to Movant’s specific claims of ineffective assistance of counsel by September 9, 2019," Aboulhosn wrote. "The affidavit shall include all the information Mr. Morgan and Mr. Lefler believes necessary to fully respond to the claims and shall include as attachments copies of any documents from their file that they believe to be relevant and necessary to a determination of the specific claims of ineffective assistance of counsel raised by Movant in his Section 2255 Motion."

Aboulhosn wrote that if Kostenko wishes to reply to the government's answer, he has until Nov. 15 to do so.

Kostenko faced one count of maintaining drug-involved premises; 19 counts of distributing oxycodone not for legitimate medical purposes; and two counts of distribution not for medical purposes resulting in the death of two patients. He pleaded guilty to one count of distribution not for legitimate medical purposes.

Kostenko would host classes each day at Coal Country Clinic in Daniels on pain relief. After classes, he would write prescriptions for oxycodone in cash-only transactions.

Kostenko previously claimed that while he did write many prescriptions, they were all for low doses and given in small amounts, which he believed lessened the chance of abuse.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 5:19-cv-00574

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