The U.S. Attorney’s office charged Matthew Helmer with a felony for peddling fentanyl to military veterans at a VA hospital earlier this year.
The charges stem from two non-fatal overdoses that occurred in February at the Bath Medical Center in New York, where Helmer was a patient.
Fentanyl is reserved for patients with chronic illnesses like cancer, but has become commonly used as a substitute for heroin. President Donald Trump expressed his desire to pull fentanyl from U.S. markets, due to its potency and the dangers of accidental overdose.
Investigators interviewed the overdose victims, and they admitted Helmer was the one who supplied them with the opioids while he was a fellow patient at the hospital. They were all enrolled in the same substance abuse program, according to court documents filed Oct. 6.
Helmer has been conditionally released, pending further court appearances.
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