Sands Point doctor accused in murder-for-hire plot
A Sands Point cardiologist charged in a murder-for-hire plot was described as "a new breed of drug trafficker" by prosecutors Wednesday.
The DEA says Dr. Anthony Moschetto, who worked in Great Neck, sold blank prescription pads, pain pills and assault weapons.
The 54-year-old divorced father of two children was the alleged mastermind of an elaborate plot to have his former business associate and fellow cardiologist Dr. Martin Handler beaten and killed over a business dispute.
Moschetto is accused of hiring James Chmela and James Kalmaras to set fire to Handler's office. No one was hurt in the February fire.
The monthslong investigation by Nassau police and DEA agents began with prescription pills. Nassau's district attorney said undercover agents were also able to buy heroin and assault rifles from Moschetto.
Investigators executed a search warrant at the Sands Point home and say they found a cache of weapons, including a hand grenade. Investigators also say they found a stash of illegal knives and other weapons inside a secret room in the basement that was only accessible behind a moving bookshelf.
Dr. Moschetto pleaded not guilty in court and is free on bail. His attorney says his client has an "unblemished record."
"He will be vigorously defending all of these charges," said attorney Randy Zelin.
According to the District Attorney's Office, undercover agents were able to buy 400 oxycodone pills and about 200 bags of heroin, in addition to assault rifles between December 2014 and March 2015.
The three men are due back in court on Friday.