New York Drug Ring Dispensed More Than $550 Million In Oxycodone

Huge Drug Ring in the Bronx Dispensed Over $550 Million in Oxycodone, Other Prescription Drugs

oxycodoneA doctor who owned two Bronx-based pain management clinics, along with two co-conspirators, were charged for federal-level prescription drug trafficking, especially the powerful narcotic oxycodone.

Dr. Kevin Lowe, 54, reportedly pocketed $12 million between January 2011 and January 2014 by writing a record 31,500 fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions. That number breaks down into 30 fraudulent drug prescriptions every day for three years.

“The individuals who received these oxycodone prescriptions were not legitimate patients and no physical examinations were conducted,” court papers said.

The drug ring, which also faces charges for criminal violence, released about 5.5 million addictive narcotic pills onto the streets of New York.

Although Lowe is considered the “king pin” of the oxycodone drug ring, he had several cohorts, including Dr. Robert Terdiman, 68, who retired in 2004 but came out of retirement in 2012 to join the lucrative oxycodone trafficking operation. He allegedly wrote 18,700 fake prescriptions for the narcotic to 4,200 people, which is worth about $90 million.

“This is poison by prescription, and the volume and money allegedly involved would make hardened illegal drug traffickers envious,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

“Part of the brilliance of (Lowe’s) scheme is that he managed largely to keep his hands clean by hiring other doctors,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Diskant said at Lowe’s arraignment Wednesday night in Manhattan Federal Court.

Lowe is also responsible for several violent incidents. He reportedly hired bouncers for his clinics to both keep the peace among the drug addicts he catered to, and also to ensure the silence of his “patients” and fellow criminals.

Prescriptions involved no physical examination, and were passed to “high-level drug traffickers” who filled the oxycodone referrals. Officials have identified 10 separate drug crews who received oxycodone from Astramed, the name of Lowe’s two clinics.

The crews paid clinic workers and office managers cash to maintain access to the doctors, and Lowe paid his physicians a flat rate per oxycodone prescription, usually around $200 to $300 per prescription written.

Lowe, along with 20 other defendants, were arrested on Tuesday, February 4th, and arraigned on Wednesday, February 5th. Three additional defendants are still on the loose. Lowe entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment.

Lowe’s attorney claimed that the doctors he hired were actually to blame for Lowe’s legal troubles, saying, “These two offices (in the Bronx) were run by rogue doctors who were writing the prescriptions.”

Lowe’s bail was set at $5 million, and he is expected to make that soon.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: “The world of prescription drug trafficking is looking more and more like the world of old-school trafficking in narcotics like heroin, cocaine and crack … The traffickers were supplied with prescriptions by corrupt doctors and clinic employees, dispensed to lower-level ‘pretend’ patients so that massive quantities of oxycodone could be distributed wherever the most money could be made, often in communities hundreds of miles away.”

A study published in December of last year noted that oxycodone is the most abused prescription drug on the market today.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Charges of Oxycodone Abuse or Trafficking

If you have received criminal drug abuse charges, or are suspected of abusing prescription painkillers like Oxycodone, you are not automatically guilty, and you do not give up any of your rights. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help defend you. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not let criminal drug charges such as trafficking or possession ruin your reputation and career prospects. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.

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