BECKLEY, W.Va. — A West Virginia doctor accused of illegally distributing painkillers to three patients who later died has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Dr. Michael Kostenko, who faced 22 charges, admitted at the second day of his trial in April to one count of distribution of oxycodone that wasn’t for a legitimate medical purpose. He was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Beckley.

The 61-year-old Kostenko, who ran Coal Country Clinic in Daniels, faced multiple counts of distribution charges, including three counts of distributing oxycodone that resulted in the deaths of three patients.

Kostenko admitted that on Dec. 9, 2013, he wrote prescriptions for 22,255 pain pills from his home without seeing any of the 271 patients. His staff handed out prescriptions and collected more than $20,000 in cash.

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