Supervising Pharmacist Sentenced to Prison for Diverting Millions of Dollars in Oxycodone Pills from a Queens Pharmacy

Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, announced the sentencing of supervising pharmacist VICTOR LAPERLA for receiving cash payments in exchange for knowingly filling forged prescriptions for oxycodone 30 mg painkillers and illegally selling additional pills. Earlier today, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott sentenced LAPERLA to four years in prison and a five-year term of post release supervision on the charge of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree and one year in jail for Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, with the sentences to run concurrently. Under the terms of a guilty plea entered on August 8, 2019, LAPERLA was also required to surrender his pharmacist license.

The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s (SNP) Prescription Drug Investigation Unit (PDIU) and the DEA Division Group D-22. The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the New York State Health Department’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement assisted in the investigation. Charges are pending against LAPERLA’s codefendant, BIANCA MARTINEZ, a pharmacy technician who is charged with assisting the pharmacist and brokering illicit transactions.

“Pharmacists serve an important gatekeeping role in the distribution of controlled substances. LaPerla abused his pharmacist license to enrich himself through the filling forged prescriptions and the outright sale of opioid pills. In so doing, he knowingly fueled the deadly opioid epidemic,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.

An indictment charged LAPERLA and MARTINEZ in connection with 15 transactions between April 21, 2015 and February 7, 2018 at their place of employment, Dale Pharmacy & Surgical Inc. in Richmond Hill, Queens. Each forged prescription was written for 180 pills of oxycodone 30 mg for a total of 2,700 pills. An unindicted coconspirator and others also made cash payments oxycodone pills in unlabeled bottles for which no official prescription had been presented for the pills for the purposes of reselling them on the black market. The investigation revealed that between March of 2013 and May of 2018, LAPERLA allegedly filled over 855 oxycodone 30 mg prescriptions, totaling approximately 158,000 pills dispensed worth a black market street value of up to $4 million. In 2017 alone, LAPERLA allegedly received approximately $303,900 in cash in exchange for filling forged prescriptions and oxycodone 30 mg sales.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked Acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan and commended the work of Assistant District Attorneys Hannah Perlman and Tess Cohen, the office’s Prescription Drug Investigation Unit and Investigators Unit, DEA Division Group D-22 and the New York State Health Department’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.

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Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
Kati Cornell
(212) 815-0525