Family medicine practitioner wrote hundreds of prescriptions for thousands of opioid pain pills without legitimate medical need.
Brooklyn, NY - May 21, 2014 - A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Dr. Michael Randall with illegal distribution of thousands of prescription pain pills, including oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, and carisoprodol. Randall surrendered earlier today, and his initial appearance is scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York, and Tom F. O’Donnell, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General, New York Region (HHS-OIG).
This morning, as part of a continuing federal and state prescription drug abuse initiative within the Eastern District of New York, Randall was arrested upon his surrender to members of a DEA Tactical Diversion Squad on charges of illegally distributing prescription pain pills between January 2009 and September 2013. The Tactical Diversion Squad comprises DEA agents and law enforcement officers with the Nassau County Police Department, the New York State Police, the Port Washington Police Department, and the Rockville Centre Police Department.
According to the complaint, Randall, whose family medical practice, Middle Country Family Medical, P.C., is located in Centereach, New York, wrote hundreds of prescriptions for oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, and carisoprodol to patients on a continuing basis outside the usual course of professional practice and not for any legitimate medical purpose.
“By prescribing thousands of highly addictive pain pills without a legitimate medical purpose, Dr. Randall ignored the law and his own patients’ well-being,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We are committed to vigorous prosecution of doctors who abdicate their Hippocratic Oath, participate in the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, and contribute to the rise of drug abuse and addiction in our communities.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to each of the agencies that participated in the government’s investigation.
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Hunt stated, “The adverse consequences of prescription drug abuse like theft, threats of violence, opiate addiction, and overdose deaths throughout America are growing in numbers. And today’s arrest of Dr. Randall shows law enforcement’s commitment to fighting the spread of opiate use and abuse by identifying and arresting those who, as alleged in the complaint, are responsible for supplying and distributing illegally prescribed medication.”
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, will continue to investigate physicians that illegally distribute narcotics like common drug dealers,” said HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge O’Donnell. “Along with our law enforcement partners, today’s arrest reaffirms our commitment to protecting public safety, as well as the federally funded health care programs intended for the nation’s most vulnerable Americans.”
The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
In January 2012, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the DEA, in conjunction with the five District Attorneys in this jurisdiction, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, the New York City Police Department and New York State Police, along with other key federal, state, and local government partners, launched the Prescription Drug Initiative to mount a comprehensive response to what the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention has called an epidemic increase in the abuse of so-called opioid analgesics. So far, the Prescription Drug Initiative has brought over 160 federal and local criminal prosecutions, including the prosecution of 15 health care professionals, taken civil enforcement actions against a hospital, a pharmacy and a pharmacy chain, removed prescription authority from numerous rogue doctors, and expanded information-sharing among enforcement agencies to better target and pursue drug traffickers. The Initiative also is involved in an extensive community outreach program to address the abuse of pharmaceuticals.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles N. Rose.