RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — For someone wanting to score illegal drugs, what better way than to call in your own prescriptions? Prosecutors said one Centereach man did just that.
Matthew DelPesce, 25, is accused of going to unusual lengths to get himself oxycodone, Vicodin and other potent painkillers.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said DelPesce hit dozens of pharmacies after posing as a doctor, dentist or physician’s assistant.
“We found ample evidence… at the defendant’s house that DelPesce frequented emergency rooms, the offices of immediate care physicians and others with one objective — to secure a prescription and the unique identifying physicians’ credentials,” Spota said.
Prosecutors said that DelPesce went to see doctors, pretending to be in great pain to get a prescription with the doctor’s identification number.
“Once he got the prescription and he had that identification number, he would then call in on an emergency basis, feigning that he was the physician himself,” Spota told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
The district attorney said the fake doctor then became the would-be patient, purchasing an emergency supply of drugs, tapping dozens of pharmacies, including drugs stores in Centereach, Port Jefferson Station, Commack and Deer Park in April and May.
The defendant’s lawyer portrayed his client as an addict and quoted the prosecutor, saying the case points up a huge flaw in the way emergency prescriptions are issued.
“The way it is in New York, anybody, any one of us, can call up and impersonate a doctor and say it’s an emergency. Those were her words. This is absurd,” defense attorney Jason Russo said.
The prosecution said the evidence is strong, including pharmacy video of DelPesce picking up prescriptions that had been called in.
DelPesce was held on $100,000 bail. Charges include falsifying business records, possession of a forged instrument and criminal impersonation.
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