Prosecutors: Cedarhurst man illegally distributed thousands of dollars in painkillers out of his Queens pharmacy
Authorities said a Cedarhurst man who owns a Queens pharmacy admitted to illegally distributing thousands of dollars' worth of oxycodone.
On Friday, federal prosecutors said 44-year-old Daniel Russo pleaded guilty to illegally peddling the pain killer oxycodone out of Russo's Pharmacy in Far Rockway.
From March 2011 to June 2014, prosecutors said Russo filled fraudulent prescriptions for thousands of oxycodone pills in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
The US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York called him "a drug dealer in a white coat," and added in a statement, "He abused his pharmacy license and the trust placed in him by the community to illegally distribute enormous amounts of oxycodone, spreading misery in the community and fueling addiction, all to enrich himself."
Russo's Cedarhurst neighbors told News 12 Long Island on Sunday that knew him or that he lived in the area but had not heard of the guilty plea.
Russo is also charged with filing false personal and business taxes.
With his guilty plea, the IRS's special agent in charge said in a statememt "...Russo chose to face the consequences of his actions -- a good reminder that just like Al Capone, even criminals need to pay their taxes."
Russo faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the drug charges and three years for tax fraud when he is sentenced.