June 7th, 2007 13:33 EST
Dr. Issues Prescriptions In Exchange For Narcotics
SYRACUSE, NY (June 7, 2007) John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby, United States Attorney, Northern District of New York, announces that a Complaint unsealed today in United States District Court charges sixteen (16) persons with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and acquiring or obtaining possession of controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846, 841, and 843 (a) (3).1
DEA Special Agent in Charge Gibride stated, “Operation Black Out successfully dismantled a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for distributing large quantities of OxyContin and Amphetamines throughout the Syracuse area. More than 6 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs, and more than 1 in 10 high school seniors report abusing powerful prescription pain killers. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to monitor the illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drug trafficking in order to ebb the increasing amount of pharmaceutical drug abuse.”
Those defendants include the following:
DR. HARRY BLACK, age 61;
LISA BLACK, age 42;
RENEE LESTRANGE, age 47;
JAY HAIGHT, age 64;
NABIL BAJJALY, age 52;
CAROL BAJJALY, age 52;
IVAN FEHER, age 61;
MATTHEW PETER ALEXANDER, age 47;
GREGORY O’DONNELL, age 48;
JAMES PATNAUDE, age 48;
SHAWN GLEASON, age 40;
EDWARD ZWIESLER, age 30;
MICHAEL KERWAWYCZ, age 55;
PHILIP GABELMAN, age 49;
LUCIEN MALEY, age 55; and
NICHOLAS RUSSO, age 66.
The Complaint alleges that Dr. Harry Black routinely wrote unwarranted prescriptions for controlled substances such as Oxycontin and Ampthetamines to his patients who, in turn, would distribute a portion of the prescribed drugs back to Dr. Black. Records received from the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement indicate (“BNE”) that each of the defendants listed herein received multiple prescriptions from Dr. Black over a lengthy period of time.
Earlier today, agents executed a search warrant at the home of Dr. Harry Black at 6003 Westcliffe Rd., Jamesville, New York, to search for evidence, fruits and instrumentalities relating to the above-captioned charge. Pursuant to that search, the following items, among other things, were recovered: (1) multiple ounces of marijuana; (2) two handguns: a .38 caliber revolver and .25 caliber pistol; (3) numerous plastic bags with cocaine residue on them; (4) hundreds of amphetamine capsules, many of which have been split and emptied of their contents; (5) numerous unmarked pill bottles containing OxyContin; and (6) prescription bottles in the names of numerous other persons.
Each of these defendants face a maximum of twenty 20 years imprisonment, up to a $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release following any period of incarceration.
This prosecution resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), the BNE, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, and with assistance today from the Syracuse Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney, John M. Katko. Further questions or inquiries may be directed to him at (315) 448-0916.