A pharmacist, her husband and another man have been accused of hawking oxycodone out of a pair of New York City storefronts in a multi-million dollar drug scheme, authorities say.
The scheme was run out of two pharmacies, both named "Chopin Chemists" in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, Queens, both owned by the pharmacist, sources said. The pharmacist, Lilian Wieckowski, and her husband, Marcin Jakacki, allegedly conspired to sell the drugs out of the two pharmacies "any way they could," according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
"We've shut down one of the largest pill mills in the city," Bharara said.
Authorities say they began investigating Wieckowski's pharmacies after a civil audit revealed that the Brooklyn pharmacy was requesting more oxycodone from drug makers than anywhere else in the zip code -- which included several large, nationwide pharmacy chains. One year, Bharara said, Chopin Chemists in Greenpoint requested more than 250,000 more pills than the next pharmacy.
Criminal investigators with several federal agencies then got involved and discovered that the pharmacies had been illicitly distributing the powerful narcotic, sometimes without even requiring prescriptions. Others were filled with scripts featuring the names of high-end fashion brands like "Chanel" and "Coach." Some prescriptions would be filled for four or five times the quantity listed on the bottle
"From the DEA's perspective, (Wieckowski) is nothing more than a white-collar drug dealer," DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said at a news conference Wednesday.
Bharara said they also discovered that many of the drugs were being sold to the same man -- Robert Cybulski, who would often get 500 30-milligram pills at a time.
The scheme -- which put as many as 500,000 tablets on the streets illegally -- helped Wieckowski and her husband buy a $2 million house in Greenwich, Connecticut. In total the illegally sold drugs could have gone for $10 to $15 million on the street.
Both Wieckowski and her husband face criminal drug, laundering and conspiracy charges as well as civil charges. Wieckowski is also accused of defrauding Medicaid out of about $750,000 by allegedly falsely claiming to have filled prescriptions.
Cybulski, meanwhile, faces federal drug charges.
Attorney information for the three suspects wasn't immediately available.
On Thursday, the pharmacy in Ridgewood, Queens, had a sign taped to the window saying "We can only fill non-controlled prescription medications."
-- Sheldon Dutes contributed to this report