NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Kristin Davis, a candidate for New York City comptroller known as the “Manhattan madam,” has been arrested on charges of selling prescription painkillers, authorities announced Tuesday afternoon.
According to federal officials, Davis allegedly sold hundreds of pills, including oxycodone, for Ecstasy and cash. Adderall and Xanax were also involved in the transactions, prosecutors said.
Davis, 38, was charged with four counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Davis was arrested Monday, and made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
“As alleged, Kristin Davis sold prescription pills not once, but rather four different times in four months to an FBI cooperating witness. This type of criminal activity is illegal for citizens, and is especially unbecoming for a person seeking public office in the City of New York,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said in a statement.
The alleged drug sales occurred between January and April of this year, according to authorities.
WEB EXTRA: Kristin Davis Complaint (pdf)
Davis allegedly sold hundreds of pills to a drug dealer-turned-cooperating-witness for the FBI who was wearing a wire, according to authorities.
“As alleged, Kristin Davis sold dangerous and highly-addictive prescription pills to a known drug dealer on repeated occasions in exchange for cash. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in this country, resulting in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, and this Office has a zero-tolerance policy towards anyone who helps to spread this plague at any level,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Davis declined to comment on the case, or how it would affect her bid for comptroller. But her attorney, Daniel Hochheiser, said the claims against his client came from an unreliable source.
“Today, Ms. Davis was accused in a hearsay complaint based upon the unsworn statements of an admitted drug dealer seeking leniency at the expense of a high-profile target,” Hochheiser said. “If and when Ms. Davis is indicted – which she hasn’t been yet – she’ll enter a not guilty plea.”
Davis has been in trouble with the law before. In 2008, she spent four months at Rikers Island for promoting prostitution.
Davis has said she provided then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer with prostitutes, a claim he denies. Spitzer is also running for comptroller.
Davis got into the comptroller race before Spitzer, running on a platform to legalize and tax marijuana as a way to close potential city budget gaps. Other candidates include Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, also a Democrat, and Republican John Burnett, a former Wall Street executive.
According to a criminal complaint, Davis began buying Xanax, Adderall and Ecstasy from the unidentified drug dealer in 2009. She allegedly told the dealer that “she provided these drugs to others at house parties,” the criminal complaint says.
In 2011, Davis asked the dealer if he would accept Adderall in exchange for Ecstasy, the complaint says. After that, they traded 240 Adderall pills for 120 Ecstasy tablets, it says.
Authorities arrested the dealer in December and he agreed as part of his guilty plea to record his conversations with Davis, the complaint says. In a recorded meeting on Jan. 7, the cooperator paid Davis $675 in cash for 215 pills, it says.
“OK, and this one is Ambien. There are 30 of those,” Davis allegedly said on tape.
Authorities also alleged that in April, Davis brokered a deal for another person to sell 180 oxycodone pills to the cooperator. The complaint references a video that shows Davis bringing the person to the dealer’s apartment, where the dealer used $3,600 provided by the FBI to make the purchase.
The Spitzer campaign declined comment on Tuesday.
Davis was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on Sept. 5, Schneider reported.
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