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Lyons War Vet Allegedly Covered Up Heroin Death

Former Marine gave heroin to overdose victim, according to the Department of Justice.

LYONS, NJ -- A former Marine and Iraq war veteran allegedly gave heroin to a fellow veteran who would then die of an overdose at the in Lyons in early July.

Ryan Krieger, 28, an in-patient resident at the post-traumatic stress disorder ward, also obstructed the investigation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Krieger and the overdose victim called a taxi and left the hospital to buy heroin in Paterson on July 1, according to the Department of Justice. They allegedly withdrew $500 from the overdose victim's bank account at an ATM, before Krieger allegedly purchased the heroin. According to the Department of Justice, the two returned to the hospital, where they were joined by another in-patient resident before all using the heroin in the overdose victim's room.

According to the Department of Justice, the three patients were using heroin in the early hours of July 2 when the victim collapsed and lost consciousness. Krieger and the other patient did not notify anyone at the hospital, and the staff discovered the victim's body in his room the following afternoon, according to the Department of Justice.

Krieger allegedly lied about his activities on the night of the victim's death to special agents with the VA's Office of the Inspector General, which investigated the circumstances of the death. According to the Department of Justice, he only admitted his role when he was confronted with physical evidence, which included a surveillance video from the ATM machine in Paterson. Krieger allegedly told an individual at the hospital months later that he administered the heroin to the victim and that when he appeared to overdose, Krieger did not help and instead propped him up in his bed to make it appear that he had taken the heroin by himself.

Krieger faces a count of drug distribution with a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $1 million fine, and an obstruction charge with a maximum term of 20 years and a $250,00 fine or twice the gain or loss caused.

Ron Smith August 10, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I am a Veteran and reading this makes me feel terrible! There were a couple of things they could've done to keep this poor, unfortunate Vet alive. They could've injected him with a table salt and water solution, walked him and of course called the night duty nurse. Calling the nurse, however would've wound up having them ejected from the facility and into the streets. Its a shame that the VA rules don't treat drug abuse as a symptom of PTSD no matter where or how its encountered. I fought heroin for approximately ten years and, thank God, beat it. I've been clean for many years now.
William Steve Brodie August 10, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Addiction is recognized by the AMA as a disease, yet in a VA hospital it is treated like a moral deficiency. What's wrong with our VA hospitals?. Don't they follow the guides of the US medical system at large?
Lisa Stanley August 11, 2012 at 04:32 AM
ALOT is wrong with our VA system...Our vets are NOT given the care that they need...just read back...he was found the NEXT afternoon...he'd been dead a DAY before he was checked on? Really. Come on good ole USA~they fight for our every freedom and we can't do better? Who is the boss? I thought when the lottery came we were going to use the money for better schools..yet schools are going bankrupt...they tax cigarettes a bunch...put some of THAT money toward the tried and true...our military!!

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