Podiatrist Charged With Selling Pills Obtained by Writing and Filling Phony Prescriptions
MAR 03 -- MINEOLA, NY - JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”) and KATHLEEN RICE, Nassau County District Attorney announced that a Sands Point podiatrist has been arrested and charged with obtaining fraudulent prescriptions and selling the medications on the street for personal profit. He was arrested February 25, 2009 and found to be in possession of a loaded handgun in a Port Washington school parking lot.
“As prescription drug abuse rises, law enforcement has been focused on weeding out those responsible for distributing illegally diverted drugs by those hiding under physician’s jackets,” said John P. Gilbride, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division. “This arrest proves that DEA and our law enforcement partners are dedicated to ensuring that pain medications are used for legitimate purposes and not to be abused.”
William Levine, 42, of Sands Point, has been charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court March 2.
RICE said that Levine was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration agents in the parking lot of Port Washington’s Schreiber High School when Levine attempted to exchange five Klonopin pills for 100 pills each of methadone and hydrocodone with another man who was also arrested. Found in Levine’s car during a search pursuant to his arrest was a loaded .380 handgun.
Further investigation revealed that in his capacity as a Brooklyn-based podiatrist, Levine would fill out prescription slips in the names of family members or non-patients for a number of prescription drugs, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, Vicodin, Xanax, and Klonopin. He would get the prescriptions filled at nine pharmacies throughout Nassau County, as well as pharmacies in Queens and Brooklyn. He would then either use the pills himself, or sell them. The family members and non-patients told investigators that they were unaware of prescriptions written in their names and that they had never received the medication.
“Dr. Levine has violated the community’s trust by abusing his position as a doctor,” Rice said. “His actions are no different than a drug dealer on the street corner looking to poison our children, feed addictions, and ruin lives.”
The investigation was assisted by the Nassau County Police Department's Narcotics & Vice Squad.
Handling the case for the District Attorney's Office is Assistant District Attorney Jennine Mazzola of the Street Narcotics and Gangs Bureau. Representing the defendant is Alexander Bateman, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.