CVP FIRST: An Iraq war veteran with PTSD was arrested this morning and charged with giving a fellow veteran a fatal dose of heroin bought in Paterson.
Former Marine Cpl. Ryan Krieger
Ryan Krieger, 28, a former Marine and in-patient resident at the post-traumatic stress disorder ward of the VA Medical Center in Lyons, NJ, was brought into U.S. District Court in Newark this afternoon.
Krieger and the victim, identified as J.Z., called a cab on July 1, 2011, snuck out of the VA Hospital and pulled $500 at an ATM from the dead man’s bank account, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Krieger then bought the heroin from a dealer he knew in Paterson, and the pair returned to the hospital, where they were joined by a third in-patient resident, identified as R.C., Fishman said.
The three of them then ingested the drug in J.Z.’s room.
They were still at it when J.Z. collapsed and lost consciousness.
Neither of the other men notified anyone at the hospital. Staff found J.Z.’s body in his room the next afternoon.
Krieger later lied to special agents with VA’s Office of the Inspector General about his whereabouts that night and “only admitted his role upon being confronted with physical evidence, including a
surveillance video from the ATM machine in Paterson,”a complaint filed in federal court alleges.
Although he agreed to cooperate, Krieger told someone at the hospital months later “that he had administered the heroin” and, instead of sseeking help, “propped J.Z. up in his bed to create the appearance that J.Z. had taken the heroin himself and overdosed by himself.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott B. McBride of Fishman’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit is handling the case.
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