Queens Pharmacist Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Illegally Distributing Oxycodone and Filing False Tax Returns
Bradley Bender, Southampton Town Councilman, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone. The plea was entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields at the federal courthouse in Central Islip.
Today’s guilty plea was announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York.
According to court filings and statements made in court at the time he entered the guilty plea, between July 2012 and June 2015, Bender received phony prescriptions for oxycodone from a Riverhead physician assistant, Michael Troyan, filled those prescriptions, and illegally exchanged the oxycodone pills for cash and steroids with another co-conspirator. The oxycodone pills were then re-sold to drug abusers. Troyan was arrested on November 4, 2015, pursuant to an indictment which is currently pending before United States District Judge Denis R. Hurley.
The goverenment’s investigation was led by the DEA’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department, and Port Washington Police Department. The Diversion Squad was also assisted by agents and officers of the Department of Health & Human Services, the Southampton Town Police Department, and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s East End Drug Taskforce.
“Abuse of oxycodone on Long Island has reached epidemic proportions,” stated United States Attorney Capers. “Councilman Bender’s actions in this oxycodone distribution conspiracy victimized the very community he was entrusted to represent. Today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder that no one is above the law, including those entrusted with passing our laws.” Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to each of the participating law enforcement agencies for their assistance in this case.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Hunt stated, “Diverted prescription pill distributors are a new breed of drug dealer because many hide in plain view. In this case, Southampton Town Councilman Bradley Bender allegedly distributed diverted pain medication behind the backs of his constituents. By allegedly filling fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions for street sales, he was adding fuel to the fire for the opioid problem that is running rampant throughout American cities, unlike other community representatives who are looking for ways to contain it.”
At sentencing, Bender faces a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
This case is the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York as part of the Prescription Drug Initiative. In January 2012, this Office and the DEA, in conjunction with the five District Attorneys in this district, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, the New York City Police Department, and New York State Police, along with other key federal, state, and local government partners, launched the Initiative to mount a comprehensive response to what the United States Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention has called an epidemic increase in the abuse of so-called opioid analgesics. To date, the Initiative has brought over 160 federal and local criminal prosecutions, including the prosecution of 19 health care professionals, taken civil enforcement actions against a hospital, a pharmacy, and pharmacy chain, removed prescription authority from numerous rogue doctors, and expanded information-sharing among enforcement agencies to better target and pursue drug traffickers. The Initiative also is involved in an extensive community outreach program to address the abuse of pharmaceuticals.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Allen Bode is in charge of the prosecution.
Name: BRADLEY BENDER
Residence: Northampton, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15-CR-593(ADS)