A Riverhead physician assistant pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to his role in an East End oxycodone distribution ring that included a sitting Southampton town board member.
Michael Troyan, 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy before U.S. Eastern District Judge Denis Hurley. During the plea proceeding, Troyan said he got involved in distributing the highly addictive pain pills so that he could keep a supply to satisfy his own habit.
“I’ve had a drug problem for over seven years,” Troyan said softly to Hurley. “I had severe withdrawal while I was in custody [after getting arrested in November]. I’ve been clean and sober for approximately 226 days.”
Troyan said he was paid both in cash and hydrocodone pills. “It’s how I maintained my drug habit,” he said.
About three weeks after Troyan was arrested, then-town board member Bradley Bender, 54, of Northampton, abruptly resigned the day he pleaded guilty to conspiracy for distributing pills he got from Troyan.
Troyan ran East End Urgent and Primary Care in Riverhead and Wading River and was authorized to prescribe oxycodone. He and Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode said another man, who was not named in court, sent about 20 people to the clinics and Troyan would write them bogus prescriptions.
They’d fill them, give the pills to the other man, who would then pay Troyan in cash and pills. The co-conspirator would then sell the pills to other street dealers, including Bender.
Troyan’s attorney, Mark Musachio of Deer Park, said that co-conspirator is under investigation and will probably be arrested soon. Bode declined to comment.
Of his client, Musachio said, “He took responsibility like a man. He faced up to it.”
Bode said the evidence against Troyan includes medical records, statements by co-conspirators and some transactions captured on video.
The scheme ran from November 2011 until shortly before it was broken up in October 2015.
The maximum penalty for Troyan’s crime is 20 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines call for a punishment between 108 and 135 months. There is also a possible fine of $1 million.
As part of the plea, Troyan agreed to forfeit his right to more than $700,000, which represents his proceeds from the drug ring. Troyan remains free on bail until his sentencing on July 29.