Raymond Capozziello, The Leader of Connecticut-Based Oxycodone Ring Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 40 Months in Prison

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RAYMOND CAPOZZIELLO, the leader of an oxycodone trafficking organization based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was sentenced today to 40 months in prison. CAPOZZIELLO pled guilty on March 21, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and one count of distributing oxycodone. CAPOZZIELLO, 46, of Trumbull, Connecticut, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge KIMBA M. WOOD.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “Raymond Capozziello consorted with the medical establishment to acquire and then sell prescription pain medication for a profit. Those who unlawfully peddle prescription pills like Oxycodone are drug dealers plain and simple, and today’s sentence should make clear that these pill pushers will be severely punished for their crimes.”

According to the indictment and other court documents, as well as statements made during proceedings in the case:

From 2006 to 2008, CAPOZZIELLO and his second-in-command, co-defendant MARCUS ERODICI, recruited straw buyers, including MICHAEL WALKER and ALEXANDER VANGHELE, to travel from Connecticut to Manhattan to visit a particular pain management doctor (“Physiatrist A“), who wrote prescriptions for hundreds of oxycodone tablets for each straw buyer. The straw buyers then traveled to a particular pharmacist in Manhattan (“Pharmacist A“) who filled these prescriptions in the name of the straw buyers. The straw buyers then provided many of the pills that they purchased to CAPOZZIELLO, ERODICI, or another member of the organization, so that the pills could be distributed for a profit. CAPOZZIELLO paid the expenses incurred by the straw buyers, including the cost of the visit to Physiatrist A and the money paid to Pharmacist A for the pills. In addition, members of the conspiracy paid cash to the straw buyers for their services.

In addition to the prison term, Judge WOOD sentenced CAPOZZIELLO to three years’ supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $50,000 as the proceeds of his crime.

The other three defendants in this case have pled guilty and one has been sentenced. WALKER was sentenced by Judge WOOD on June 6, 2011, to 33 months in prison. ERODICI and VANGHELE are scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2011, and August 31, 2011, respectively.

Mr. BHARARA thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its assistance in the case.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys DAVID B. MASSEY and RACHEL KOVNER are in charge of the prosecution.

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