February 5, 2014: Federal agents and NYPD arrest dozens of members of purported
illegal Oxycodone trafficking ring involving Astramed clinics.
New York Post today reported that on February 5, federal agents and the
NYPD arrested approximately 24 people in connection with indictments for
conspiring to traffic illegal prescription drugs. Specifically, it is alleged that numerous doctors - at least some associated
with the Astramed physicians' clinic in the Bronx - wrote prescriptions
for Oxycodone for people that they knew did not need them or intend to
use them, and that these individuals then filled these prescriptions and
gave the pills to traffickers for resale. All in all, it is alleged by
the prosecutors that over a half billion dollars worth of illegal Oxycodone
was purchased and trafficked into the black market in this fashion.
It may be that many of the individuals involved in this operation were
in legitimate need of prescription medication and in fact committed no
crimes, and it remains to be seen whether the doctors that wrote the prescriptions
actually knew that they were furthering a criminal enterprise instead
of simply writing prescriptions that they believed were medically necessary.
Interestingly, under federal conspiracy laws, the individuals that obtained
the phony prescriptions from the purportedly corrupt doctors could be
charged with the same crimes as the doctors that knowingly wrote the false
prescriptions or the drug dealers that ultimately resold the illegal pills,
though they are likely to be able to receive shorter jail sentences for
having played smaller roles in the operation.
Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance under the United States
Controlled Substance Act. We suspect that the applicable charge contained
in the federal indictment is a violation of
22 USC 841(a), with penalties described under 22 USC 841(b)(1)(C). Notably, it appears that at least
one or two individuals have also been charged in New York State Supreme
court with similar state-level charges.
If you or a loved one have been arrested in connection with this criminal
investigation, you should strongly consider contacting the experienced
criminal defense attorneys at Galluzzo & Johnson. They have siginificant
experience successfully defending individuals in large-scale conspiracy
cases and in prescription drug conspiracy cases.