April 23, 2019 – In Breaking News – NBC News
In a national first in the fight against the opioid crisis, a major drug distribution company, its former chief executive and another top executive have been criminally charged in New York.
Rochester Drug Co-Operative, one of the top 10 largest drug distributors in the United States, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and willfully failing to file suspicious order reports.
Laurence Doud III, the company’s former chief executive, and William Pietruszewski, the company’s former chief compliance officer, are individually charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
(Federal prosecutors charged executives of the Rochester Drug Cooperative Tuesday, the first criminal charges against a drug distributor in the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Apr 23, 2019.)
Pietruszewski is also charged with willfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA.
Both Doud, 75, and Pietruszewski, 53, face life in prison.
#Breaking: First ever felony criminal charges against Rochester Drug Co-operative, Inc.; one of the ten largest pharmaceutical distributors in the US and its executives for illegal distribution of controlled substances. Full details: https://t.co/2n6wGDc4uA pic.twitter.com/g21iChDun2
— DEANewYork (@DEANEWYORKDiv) April 23, 2019
Doud will appear in court Tuesday, and Pietruszewski pleaded guilty last Friday, Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said.
The U.S. attorney’s office also filed a lawsuit against Rochester Drug Co-Operative on Tuesday seeking “penalties and injunctive relief.”
“This prosecution is the first of its kind: Executives of a pharmaceutical distributor and the distributor itself have been charged with drug trafficking, trafficking the same drugs that are fueling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging this country,” Berman said.
(Ex-CEO Laurence Doud is first drug company executive indicted in opioid crisis: prosecutors. Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Apr 23, 2019.)
“Our office will do everything in its power to combat this epidemic, from street-level dealers to the executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms.”
Between 2012 and 2016, Rochester Drug Co-Operative is accused of distributing tens of millions of doses of oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids to pharmacies that its own compliance department found had no legitimate need for them.
Continue reading… First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis
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