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L.I. Pharmacist Arrested In Phony Prescription Painkillers Probe

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Lutful Chowdhury (credit: Nassau Co. Police); Kayla Gerdes (credit: CBS 2)

Lutful Chowdhury (credit: Nassau Co. Police); Kayla Gerdes (credit: CBS 2)

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island pharmacist faces numerous charges after prosecutors said he filled dozens of prescriptions for addictive painkillers, knowing the prescriptions were forged on stolen prescription pads.

Lutful Chowdhury, of Westbury, was arrested Thursday morning. He is facing arraignment on 14 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Nassau County prosecutors said they began investigating Chowdhury following a fatal car accident in Hempstead in April 2010 that left Dr. Rebecca Twine dead.

The driver — Kayla Gerdes — is accused of being under the influence of drugs. Prosecutors say investigators later found she obtained painkillers from Chowdhury’s Baldwin pharmacy. Her case is expected to go to trial in the fall.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice
spoke with 1010 WINS on Thursday and called Chowdhury “nothing more than a drug pusher in a lab coat.”

Rice said the pharmacist filled the prescriptions for “his own pure greed.” She also made a connection between the deadly 2010 accident and the arrest of Chowdhury.

“We now know the terrible consequences — Rebecca Twine lost her life because of woman by the name of Kayla Gerdes was driving after receiving prescription drugs from this defendant,” Rice said.

Prosecutors said Chowdhury filled prescriptions for painkillers, including oxycodone, he knew were forged for at least five customers besides Gerdes.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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