News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 28, 2010

Former UNM Pharmacy Intern Charged With Federal Drug Trafficking, Prescription Forgery And Firearms Offenses

JUN 28 -- Paul N. DeSantis, 25, an Albuquerque resident, was arrested on federal drug trafficking, prescription forgery and firearms charges on June 24, 2010 by Special Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, on June 23, 2010, DeSantis used a forged and fraudulent prescription unlawfully to obtain oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. The complaint further alleges that DeSantis possessed oxycodone with intent to distribute and used a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime.

On conviction, DeSantis faces up to twenty years' imprisonment, up to three years’ supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on the drug trafficking offenses. On the firearms offense, DeSantis faces a mandatory five year term of imprisonment consecutive to any sentence imposed on the drug trafficking offenses. According to the testimony of DEA Special Agent T.K. Solis, the DEA initiated an investigation into DeSantis in early June 2010 after receiving information from administrative staff at the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) that DeSantis had stolen secure prescription paper from UNMH while he was completing his Doctorate in Pharmacy and working as a pharmacy intern at UNMH. Agent Solis testified that the DEA’s investigation revealed that the stolen prescription paper had been used to generate fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone. According to the criminal complaint, on June 23, 2010, the DEA conducted surveillance of DeSantis as he facilitated the purchase of oxycodone using a fraudulent prescription. Shortly thereafter, DeSantis attempted to flee when the DEA arrested him near his residence. When arrested, DeSantis was in possession of a loaded firearm and bottles of oxycodone. A search executed at DeSantis’ residence pursuant to a court authorized search warrant yielded drug ledgers, UNMH prescription paper and another loaded firearm.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Hurtado and is pending before United States District Judge Bruce D. Black. A criminal complaint is only an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The DEA El Paso Division encourages parents, and their children to visit the following interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

#####