Federal DEA agents raided a Baldwin doctor’s office and hauled off boxes of evidence Wednesday in the latest case targeting alleged facilitators in the Long Island prescription drug abuse epidemic.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents seized at least six boxes of records from the office of Dr. William Conway in the Baldwin Medical Plaza building on Merrick Road. Conway was not arrested or charged with any wrongdoing after authorities executed the search warrant and questioned the doctor for nearly six hours.
“These medications are good for the right reasons in the right hands prescribed by the right doctor, but when they are not prescribed and they are not given to the right person, they can be deadly and it’s of grave concern to law enforcement,” said Erin McKenzie-Mulvey, a DEA spokeswoman. She declined to comment specifically on Conway, citing the continuing investigation.
Sources tell the Press that Conway became subject of investigation after local pharmacies complained about him over-prescribing Oxycodone and fentanyl, two powerful prescription painkillers.
The raid came two days after DEA agents arrested a Baldwin pharmacist for allegedly selling prescriptions to patients that did not undergo medical exams. The pharmacist, Lutful Chowdhury, pleaded not guilty to those charges, was released on bail and is back at work—although he is barred from filling prescriptions for controlled substances.
At least five of Conway’s patients walked into his office during the raid, unaware that DEA agents were gathering evidence inside. Conway and some of the patients declined to comment, but some defended the specialist in internal medicine.
Dorothea Kelly of Freeport told reporters she was a patient of Dr. Conway for 10 years, described him as a “great doctor” and said she was “shocked” to learn that he was under investigation. “I just can’t believe it, he’s always been a good doctor, he’s never given us anything we didn’t need or want,” Kelly said.
Two other doctors have also been investigated for their prescriptions—both of whom had counted among their patients David Laffer, who killed four people in a Medford drug store robbery last year. That case was one of two deadly LI pharmacy holdups in 2011.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday the DEA should be more aggressive in making sure Chowdhury has his pharmacy license revoked. McKenzie-Mulvey said the DEA has begun the process.