NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Authorities in New Jersey arrested an internal medicine specialist Thursday accused of illegally writing prescriptions for oxycodone.

The alleged ring is believed to have originated with 56-year-old Dr. Michael Durante, of Montclair, who authorities said wrote prescriptions for a dozen distributors, including an undercover agent.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones with details from the Newark news conference

At a news conference, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge John McCabe said Durante told the undercover agent he would need to “go to several pharmacies to fill your prescriptions.”

Officials said the ring may have taken in over $300,000 a month. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said Durante prescribed over 1,000 pills to one distributor in just 10 days.

One of the alleged distributors is retired Newark police officer Lawrence Gebo.

“It’s totally disgusting to me. This guy, 27 years putting bad guys behind bars and he basically goes out and violates the law and distributes drugs,” McCabe said.

The eleven alleged distributors were also named in the federal criminal complaint.

Comments (16)
  1. E.T. says:

    Until the case is over please stop assuming he is guilty. Hands down, this is one of the best doctors ever to graduate from medical school. He doesn’t live a lavish lifestyle in which he needed to do something like this. His practice has a solid patient base to support it. So where was the need for him? Exactly! There was none. I support him 150%. Complete setup! Yep the good ole U.S.A. will rape you for everything you’ve spent your entire life building, All for a headline because of the boredom chasing common criminals. They needed something exciting in the press.

  2. Nathan F. says:

    wow read a brief in newspaper and already all assume he is guilty, Dr.Durante has been my doctor for years, and one of the best i ever went to. we know almost no real facts, and who knows , his prescription pad may have been stolen, audio tapes possibly, or “docotored” by agents for their own gains. When his court is done then we can truely moan if guilty

  3. MMR says:

    He was my doctor and although I liked him he did seem a little strung out.

    1. George Fassuzzio says:

      Nothing like a caring and compassionate drug dealer. Good thing we live in a “nicer” society.

  4. Carmen E. Marin says:

    I live in Queens and I travel regularly to see Dr. Durante. He’s the most caring and compassionate person I ever met. He takes the time to speak to you, listens well and discusses what he thinks is the best course of action. I believe there is more to this story, and, it will come out in court.

  5. Karen block says:

    The Dr. Durante that I knew was always compassanate and a kind soul. Soft spoken and always had as much time for his patients as they required. I am sick over this. I can’t imagine what triggered the obvious change, It can only be for (I would imagine) falling on jhard times . Now, I have no doctor.
    He would ALWAYS inquire about my husband & our son, even though they were not me at my appointment. First I was in ShOcK and in tears, and now very very very very SAD !!!!!!!!!!

  6. Gary says:

    I’m sick about this. He’s been my Doctor for over 30 years and I will continue to be his patient regardless. Something MUST have happened and I doubt it’s pure greed! He will be exonerated!

  7. Jeff W. says:

    Dr, Durante was ONE in MILLION! If he should be allowed to practice again, I would go back ti him in a heartbeat!!. He’s taken care of me, my late mother and aunt for 30+ years.

    My mother would kiss him when she saw him and when she left. Not only was he a “sweetheart” but he was an excellent doctor. I am not making any judgements about him until I hear all the facts.

    Jeff W. Verona, NJ

  8. Janice Accles says:

    Durantes script pad could have been stolen. I teach in a high school and once I found 10 blank scripts from a local dr on the steps inside the school..

  9. Janice Accles says:

    Reading more about the “evidence “against him is enlightening. Knowing him for as long as I have, I believe he did nothing criminal. If you ask him a question he will answer you with factual information. If I were to ask him how much a pill would cost on the street, he would honestly tell me. He could easily be asked questions and give answers that might turn around and bite him in the behind. Why would he not accept the gold pba card? Someone offered it to me, I would take it and not question anything. Am I to believe my wonderful doctor conspired to provide scripts for those cards and a hundred dollars? Sounds like a set up by another government agency gone rogue and crazy with power. This has ruined my doctors life. Nothing will ever get his practice back for him, including his aquital. I am certain he will be aquited. I would like to know which one of those jerks he was arrested with made some kind of deal to get himself a get out of jail card. The good doctor probably wrote one of those jokers a script for pain meds, his pals started to go to the doctor for pain medication and one of them got caught selling them. Now the sting gets set up with the agent asking leading questions. Too bad the dea is not as zealous when it comes to real drug pushers. No one except petty street dealers ever get caught. Ever notice that?

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Please remember innocent until proven guilty. My husband’s doc for many years and I just need a lot more evidence before even beginning to believe it possible. This is why we have a justice system, people.

  11. Janice Accles says:

    Dr. Durante was my Father’s, my husband’s and my doctor for many years. We went to him when he first opened his practice in Maplewood, up the street from our house. He was a very, very good, compassionate and down to earth doctor. He was obviously upset when my husband died and spoke philosophically about god and my not being a believer. Asking how can one believe when a good guy like my husband had to suffer. He has been very kind to me in my period of mourning.
    Knowing what I know about the government, it remains to be seen if he did what they accuse him of doing. As far as I am concerned, he is innocent until proven guilty. I await for his return to practice.
    It is so sad for his employees, bam out of work.

  12. Mel White says:

    Michael Durante was my doctor for many years. I am so sad and shocked. Never in a million years would I have guessed or predicted such a thing.

    1. Sanford Block says:

      He was my Doctor, my wife’s doctor and our son’s doctor of choice. I read this and I cried ! He was a great Doctor, and a great guy. II have known him for many many years. Something had to happen in private, in his life, for him to do such. I read the story & it was hard to believe. We now have no doctor. I cried when I saw this. This NOT th Dr. that I knew.

      1. lbd says:

        He was our family doctor, too. We always found him to be compassionate, thoughtful and capable. It’s devastating that he’s destroyed his life this way!

  13. dawn burke says:

    How sad, I bet he was a very good doctor that allowed greed to turn him into a drug pusher….a fallen angel.

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