Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that KRISTIN DAVIS, a former candidate for New York City Comptroller, pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to illegally distributing prescription pills. DAVIS, who was arrested in August 2013, entered her plea today before U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Kristin Davis now stands convicted of illegally selling hundreds of highly-addictive and dangerous prescription pills in exchange for cash. Abuse of illegally distributed prescription pills is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country, and this Office will do everything in its power to help combat this public health epidemic.”
According to the Complaint, Superseding Information, other information in the public record, and today’s plea proceeding:
On multiple occasions from January 2013 to March 2013, DAVIS sold hundreds of prescription pills containing amphetamine, alprazolam, zolpidem, and carisoprodol to a person she knew from prior purchases and sales to be a drug dealer. Unbeknownst to DAVIS, the person was a cooperating witness (the “CW”) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and was equipped with a recording device. During these sales, DAVIS was recorded saying that the pills she was selling were “Ambien,” “Soma,” and “Xanax.” On a fourth occasion, in April 2013, DAVIS arranged for another individual to sell approximately 180 oxycodone pills to the CW.
There is an illegal market for all of the drugs DAVIS sold and assisted another to sell. Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller with a high potential for addiction and abuse, and it is often used as a substitute for, or adjunct to, other illegal drugs, such as heroin. Amphetamine is a psycho-stimulant, often referred to as “speed,” and it often used as a substitute for, or adjunct to, other illegal drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine. Alprazolam is a psychoactive drug often used as a substitute for, or adjunct to, other illegal drugs, such as LSD, heroin or opiates. Zolpidem is a sedative/hypnotic drug often used as a substitute for, or adjunct to, other illegal drugs, including amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy). Carisoprodol is a skeletal muscle relaxant often used in conjunction with painkillers and so-called “date rape” drugs.-2-
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DAVIS, 38, of New York City, pled guilty to one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, specifically alprazolam, zolpidem, and carisoprodol. She faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. DAVIS is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ramos on July 25, 2014.
DAVIS was one of several people arrested as part of an ongoing joint investigation conducted by the FBI, the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office into the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs containing controlled substances in and around New York City:
• Thomas Rock was arrested on July 10, 2013, for distributing and conspiring to distribute oxycodone and alprazolam. He pled guilty on February 24, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer to distributing oxycodone and alprazolam, and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Engelmayer on June 6, 2014.
• Eugene Kurochkin was arrested on July 11, 2013, for distribution of oxycodone, alprazolam, amphetamine, and zolpidem. He pled guilty on November 1, 2013, to distributing oxycodone, alprazolam, amphetamine, and zolpidem, and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet on February 10, 2014, to 12 months in prison.
• Raoul Goldberger and Rebecca Teman were arrested on July 29, 2013, for distributing and conspiring to distribute amphetamine, oxycodone, and vicodin. Goldberger pleaded guilty on August 21, 2013, to distributing amphetamine and oxycodone, and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon on March 12, 2014. Teman pleaded guilty on November 12, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman to misbranding a prescription drug, and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Pitman on March 11, 2014.
• Erik Pichardo, who was referred to as “Individual-1” in the Complaint against DAVIS, was arrested in August 2013 for distributing oxycodone. He pled guilty on December 12, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Harold Baer to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Baer on April 10, 2014.
• David J. Wright was arrested on October 3, 2013, in connection with this investigation on charges of distributing oxycodone, amphetamine, and carisoprodol, which charges are pending. The charges against Wright are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI. He also thanked the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the NYPD for their assistance in the ongoing investigation.-3-
The cases are being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel C. Richenthal, Kristy J. Greenberg, and Edward A. Imperatore are in charge of the prosecutions.