Mistrial declared in doc’s drug trafficking case

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the trial of a former Massachusetts doctor and nurse practitioner charged with conspiracy and drug trafficking for allegedly distributing methadone, oxycodone and fentanyl without legitimate medical reasons.

U.S. District Judge Patti Saris declared the mistrial Monday after jurors told her they were hopelessly deadlocked on the charges against Dr. Joseph Zolot and nurse practitioner Lisa Pliner.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz must now decide whether to retry Zolot and Pliner. A spokeswoman for Ortiz did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

During the trial, prosecutors said Zolot and Pliner ignored evidence that some of their patients were misusing, abusing and even selling drugs they prescribed. Six patients died.

The defense described them as caring health care providers who wrote each prescription in good faith.

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