Nurse Practitioner Arrested for Unlawful Drug Distribution
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Christopher Viagrande, age 41, of Latham, New York, was arrested earlier this week and charged with distributing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose.
United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, made the announcement.
A criminal complaint charges Viagrande with prescribing amphetamine (a Schedule II controlled substance) on 40 occasions to someone who was never his patient, from May 2021 to December 2023. The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Viagrande was arrested on Tuesday and ordered released on Thursday with conditions, including a prohibition on his prescribing controlled substances.
If convicted on the charge in the complaint, Viagrande faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, as well as up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
Anyone wishing to report information about Viagrande or his Latham-based practice, Crossroads Psychiatry NP, may contact the DEA Albany District Office at (518) 782-2000.
The DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS) is investigating this case. TDS is comprised of DEA Special Agents and Diversion Investigators, as well as Investigators from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett is investigating this case.