Distributor Convicted of Conspiring to Distribute Controlled Substances and Defrauding the DEA
NEW YORK – Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that Laurence F. Doud III, the former Chief Executive Officer of Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Inc. (RDC), was convicted today in Manhattan federal court of conspiring to distribute unlawfully, oxycodone and fentanyl, and conspiring to defraud the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Doud was convicted after a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels.
“In a first of its kind prosecution, Laurence Doud was held responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic in the country by conspiring with others in his company to ship massive amounts of dangerous and highly-addictive oxycodone and fentanyl to pharmacies that he knew were illegally dispensing those controlled substances to drug dealers and addicts,” said Williams. “The Southern District of New York will continue to bring to justice those responsible for the opioid epidemic–whether they are street level dealers or boardroom executives.”
According to the allegations contained in the indictment and the evidence presented at trial:
Violations of the Federal Narcotics Laws
From 2012 through March 2017, Doud knowingly and intentionally violated the federal narcotics laws by distributing, through RDC, dangerous, highly addictive opioids to pharmacy customers that it knew were being sold and used illicitly. At the direction of its senior management, including Doud, RDC supplied large quantities of oxycodone, fentanyl, and other dangerous opioids to pharmacy customers that its own compliance personnel determined were dispensing those drugs to individuals who had no legitimate medical need for them.
RDC, at the direction of Doud and others, distributed controlled substances to those pharmacies even after identifying “red flags” of diversion, including dispensing highly abused controlled substances in large quantities; dispensing primarily controlled substances; dispensing quantities of controlled substances in amounts consistently higher than accepted medical standards; accepting a high percentage of cash for controlled substance prescriptions; dispensing to out-of-state patients; and filling controlled substances prescriptions issued by practitioners acting outside the scope of their medical practice, under investigation by law enforcement, or on RDC’s “watch list.” In addition, and at Doud’s direction, RDC frequently brought on pharmacy customers that had been terminated by other distributors.
Conspiracy to Defraud the DEA
From 2012 through March 2017, Doud took steps to conceal RDC’s illicit distribution of controlled substances from the DEA and other law enforcement authorities. Among other things, Doud made the deliberate decision not to investigate, monitor, or report to the DEA pharmacy customers that Doud and others at RDC knew were diverting controlled substances for illegitimate use.
Because they knew that reporting these pharmacies would likely result in the DEA investigating and shutting down RDC’s customers, RDC’s senior management, including Doud, directed the company’s compliance department not to report them, and instead to continue supplying those customers with dangerous controlled substances that the company knew were being dispensed and used for illicit purposes.
Among other things, pursuant to DOUD’s instructions, and contrary to the company’s representations to the DEA, RDC opened new customer accounts without conducting due diligence, and supplied those customers – some of whom had been terminated by other distributors – with dangerous controlled substances. Additionally, Doud caused RDC to avoid filing suspicious order reports with the DEA as required by law. As a result, the DEA’s ability to identify and prevent the illicit dispensing of highly addictive controlled substances by several of RDC’s pharmacy customers was impeded.
Laurence F. Doud III, 78, of New Smyrna, Florida, was convicted by a jury of one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which carries a maximum prison term of five years. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Doud is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Westchester Resident Office-Tactical Diversion Squad and thanked Special Agents of United States Attorney’s Office for their assistance. DEA’s Westchester Resident Office-Tactical Diversion Squad, comprises Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, and Task Force Officers from the DEA, Westchester County Police Department, Town of Orangetown Police Department, Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, Woodbury Police Department, Yonkers Police Department, New Windsor Police Department, Harrison Police Department and Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Burnett, Nicolas Roos, and Alexandra Rothman are in charge of the prosecution and represented the Government at trial. Assistant United States Attorneys Stephanie Lake and Louis Pellegrino also participated in the investigation into RDC and Doud.