Drug-Sales Records Helped Locate Suspect in Pharmacy Slayings: Source

By Greg Cergol, Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011  |  Updated 6:53 PM EDT
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Drug-Sales Records Helped Locate Suspect in Pharmacy Slayings: Source

After the shooting, the New York Office of Special Narcotics was asked to review its files for any Medford-area prescription drug sales by pharmacies and individuals known to have made significant purchases, sources said.

Law enforcement sources familiar with the pharmacy-shooting investigation said a review of a separate long-term investigation into widespread prescription drug diversion helped lead to the suspected killer

After the shooting, the New York Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City reviewed its files for any Medford-area prescription drug sales by pharmacies and individuals known to have made significant purchases, sources said.

Investigators said the name of David Laffer surfaced as one individual having made significant purchases as did a record of his having a gun permit. His driving record photo appeared to show a match to the person seen in the surveillance photo, sources said.

Investigators say records show Laffer made repeated purchases of vicadin/hydrocodone at numerous pharmacies, including several past purchases at the Medford pharmacy where the shooting took place.

All of the above information was passed on to Suffolk County police which helped put them on the trail of Laffer, the source said. The investigation also turned up records that indicate several prescriptions were also allegedly filled under the name of Laffer’s wife.

The focus of this widespread prescription drug sales investigation was not centered on individual purchasers but rather how the drugs make it into the black market.  Once the shooting occurred, investigators said they were able to drill down into their information -- based on geography  and repeat prescription orders -- to come up with Laffer as someone worth checking out.  This tip helped Suffolk police find the suspect, investigators said.

"Any information we had that we believed was relevant to this case we turned over to the Suffolk Police Department and DEA officials on Long Island,” said a spokeswoman for New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.

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