News Release
May 7, 2008

White Plains Pharmacist Pleads Guilty for
Illegally Distributing Prescription Drugs

MAY 7 -- (White Plaines, NY) JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that White Plains pharmacist IVAN ROMERO, 39, pleaded guilty today to illegally distributing Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, without a valid prescription. ROMERO pleaded guilty in White Plains federal court, before United States Magistrate Judge GEORGE A. YANTHIS.

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “The abuse of prescription drugs has alarmingly increased over the past few years. DEA and our law enforcement partners are committed to identifying and bringing to justice those responsible for illegally dispensing prescription drugs and increasing the awareness of the dangers of drug abuse.”

According to the Indictment, other documents filed in this case, and statements made at ROMERO’s guilty plea proceeding: From April 2005 through December 2005, IVAN ROMERO worked as a supervising pharmacist at the Broadway Pharmacy, in White Plains, New York. As a pharmacist, he was responsible for running the pharmacy operation, filling prescriptions, dispensing medication and ordering medication, including controlled substances, from the pharmacy’s suppliers. During this time period, ROMERO unlawfully diverted Oxycodone from the pharmacy and distributed it unlawfully and not in connection with any legitimate medical practice. Records from the pharmacy establish that ROMERO unlawfully diverted 348 grams of Oxycodone.

ROMERO pleaded guilty to Count One of a two-count indictment, charging that he illegally distributed and dispensed Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, without a valid written or oral prescription. This offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. ROMERO also faces a maximum fine of the greater of $1 million or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense.

"As this case underscores, the narcotics laws apply not just to individuals who sell drugs on street corners and in back alleys, but also to those who use their education, training, and professional licenses to profit from the illegal distribution of prescription narcotics," said U.S. Attorney MICHAEL J. GARCIA. Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration Group D-45.

Assistant United States Attorney MARCIA S. COHEN is in charge of the prosecution.

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