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On February 17, Daniel Russo, a Long Island resident, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to multiple charges in connection with illegally distributing oxycodone. Russo faces decades in federal prison when he is sentenced.

Russo owned and operated Russo’s Pharmacy in Far Rockaway, Queens. From 2011 to 2014, he filled thousands of fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone for which he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. He conspired with others who submitted the fraudulent prescriptions and sold the pills elsewhere. Russo also filed false income tax returns for four years to conceal over $1 million in earnings from the illegal scheme.

Russo pleaded guilty to two counts relating to possession and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, and nine counts of filing false personal and corporate tax returns. He faces up to 20 years in jail for each drug count and up to three years for each tax count.

In a press release, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said, “Russo was a drug dealer in a white coat. 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.” The release added that more than a dozen physician co-conspirators have been convicted of crimes related to oxycodone distribution.

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