May 09, 2019

First Criminal Charges Filed Against a Drug Distributor for Role in Opioid Epidemic

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan together with the DEA charged Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC), its former CEO Laurence F. Doud III, and its former chief compliance officer William Pietruszewski for their roles in unlawfully distributing oxycodone, fentanyl, and other opioids to pharmacy customers. These are the first criminal charges filed against a drug distributor related to the opioid epidemic. According to the criminal information, RDC supplied large quantities of oxycodone, fentanyl, and other dangerous opioids to pharmacies that then dispensed the drugs to customers without legitimate medical need.  The company has agreed to pay a $20 million fine and enter into a five-year deferred prosecution agreement, while Pietruszewski pleaded guilty to the three criminal counts against him and Doud pleaded not guilty to the two counts against him.