Authorities rounded up nearly 100 people, including three Long Island medical practitioners, in a massive two-day drug raid throughout the New York Metro area, federal officials said Wednesday.
In total, 98 people—mostly drug dealers who illegally sell prescription painkillers—were arrested in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau and Suffolk counties. The Drug Enforcement Agency, NYPD, federal prosecutors and district attorneys from New York City and LI were all involved in the enormous sting.
Among the accused are Great Neck doctor Eric Jacobson, Baldwin physician William J. Conway and Brentwood nurse practitioner Rools Deslouches. Jacobson was previously being investigating for allegedly prescribing painkillers to Medford Massacre gunman David Laffer and DEA agents raided Conway’s office in March.
“Faced with the growing threat of prescription drug trafficking and abuse, this office and our partners have joined forces to coordinate our attack against a menace every bit as dangerous as trafficking in cocaine or other narcotics,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Jacobson, the Great Neck doctor, was charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone to people “he knew” were reselling oxycodone pills to addicts, authorities said. He allegedly charged them in cash for each prescription, and then these “doctorshoppers” would resell the painkillers to other addicts, officials said.
The complaint filed in federal court Wednesday alleged Jacobson used other medical practitioners to sell prescription drugs on his behalf after he had surrendered his DEA registration, which allows him to prescribe controlled substances, in November 2011.
Conway, who was charged with illegal distribution of oxycodone, issued 5,554 oxycodone prescriptions between January 2009 and November 2011, officials said.
During the March raid of his office, the Baldwin-based doctor also surrendered his DEA registration, but continued to issue prescriptions “to those who he knew were either addicted to pain killers or were reselling to others for a profit,” Lynch’s office said.
Deslouches, the Brentwood nurse practitioner, was also charged with illegal distribution of controlled substances, including oxycodone and oxymorphone. Deslouches issued 4,349 oxycodone prescriptions between August 2009 and October 2011, officials said.
He allegedly distributed prescriptions to approximately 288 people, dozens of whom have criminal convictions for drug-related offenses, between Oct. 30, 2011 and Feb. 27, 2012, according to court documents.
DEA Special Agent Erin Mulvey, the spokeswoman for the agency, called the 30-hour raid “a big enforcement action that will hopefully lead to more people knowing about the dangers of illegally diverted prescription drugs.”
“There are people who really need it for the right reasons,” she added. “But when it gets in the wrong hands for the wrong reasons, then that’s where we come in.”
Meanwhile, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said 90 people have been charged in the county since the DA’s Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit was created in January.
“We will not stand idly by while prescription drug abuse tears apart families and communities here in Nassau County,” Rice said in a statement.