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Bronx Drug Gang Supplied By Doctor

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Federal agents arrested a Washington Heights doctor Wednesday for selling thousands of prescription Oxycodone pills to a Bronx drug gang during a two-year period, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Felix Rodriguez, 50, allegedly supplied at least 425 grams of the drug, which the dealers referred to as "jelly beans," from the spring 2009 through May 2011.

The bust comes in the wake of a crackdown on the illegal sale of prescription drugs in the southern part of Washington Heights.

“It is particularly disturbing when a physician, entrusted to be a healer and caregiver, allegedly engages with co-conspirators to traffic in Oxycodone,"
said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement. "Properly prescribed, Oxycodone is a remedy in pain management.  Improperly used, it is a highly addictive and possibly lethal drug."

The gang also allegedly sold hard drugs along with the pills.

"That some of the conspirators in this case also allegedly dealt cocaine only emphasizes the dangerous proximity of the illegal diversion of prescription medication and the trafficking of other illegal drugs," Bharara added.

Rodriguez allegedly provided prescriptions to alleged gang members Fernando Dejesus, 33, Efrain Dejesus, 64, Laurie Melo, 41, and Carol Reynolds, 53, who then sold them on the streets for cash.

The gang used a stash house in Bronx as their base of operations and sold over five kilos of cocaine in Bronx and Yonkers, according to prosecutors.

Rodriguez and the alleged gang members are charged with conspiracy to violate U.S. narcotics laws and face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine.   

“Today’s arrests place a doctor whose oath was to keep people healthy, and his drug distribution organization behind bars," said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Wilbert Plummer in a statement. "Dr. Felix Rodriguez hid behind his white jacket while overseeing and facilitating an Oxycodone distribution ring based in the Bronx, New York."

 

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Geoffrey Gloak

may be one of the few people you meet who is always glad to talk taxes. He has spent 17 years immersed in government communications – almost entirely in the tax field. He currently serves as the Director of Public Relations at the New York State Tax Department. In each of Geoff’s positions, he has created opportunities to transform the communications environment for the benefit of the organization. Under his leadership, Tax Department public relations have shifted from a reactive focus to proactive outreach. Most recently, Geoff led the STAR Registration media campaign to assist 2 million homeowners with property tax relief while eliminating fraud. As a result of extensive press outreach, more than 300 articles were printed in daily papers alone, and broadcast media repeatedly covered the story in each corner of the state. Less than 5 months after launch, 2.3 million homeowners had registered for their property tax exemptions. Geoff (@gloak23) lives in Kinderhook with his journalist wife, Kristi Berner (@kristiberner), and 4-year-old daughter, Gemma, who is now proud to be able to write her name.