In the four and a half months James McGoey had been living as a free man on Long Island, the ex-convict had lived up to the terms of his parole: He had a job and was in a drug treatment and counseling program, a state official said.
The Hampton Bays man had just been released in August after 10 years behind bars and had spent a total of 20 years in prison. He had been convicted of four robberies, three of which were at pharmacies, court records show.
During his most recent stint behind bars, McGoey was disciplined more than a dozen times for having and using drugs, harassment, fighting and disobeying orders, according to his prison records.
Police said on Saturday, McGoey, 43, was shot to death at the pharmacy where he stole money and prescription drugs.
After his release from prison, McGoey worked as a laborer for PAL Environmental Safety Corp., a remediation contracting firm based in Long Island City, Queens, earning upward of $34 an hour when he worked overtime, said Peter K. Cutler, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
A PAL representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
McGoey's parole officer visited him at his home at least twice, the first time on Aug. 22, soon after he was released from Attica Correctional Facility upstate, Cutler said. The most recent parole officer visit occurred on Dec. 17, two weeks before police said McGoey robbed Charlie's Family Pharmacy in Seaford.
"It appears McGoey was in compliance with the conditions of his parole," before the robbery, Cutler said.
His uncle, Joseph McGoey, of Massapequa, said Sunday his nephew was "a wonderful kid who got into the wrong crowd. Life went in the wrong direction."
According to McGoey's disciplinary record in prison from 2001 to 2011, there was one year, in 2007, when he was working in the furniture shop, that he stayed out of trouble, Cutler said. Each time McGoey violated prison rules, he was punished and also lost his privileges, including making telephone calls and receiving packages.
Timeline: James McGoey's incarcerations and disciplinary incidents
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
Oct. 23, 2001: Failed urine analysis test. Got 45 days of "keeplock," which meant he was only allowed out of his cell to take a shower and to exercise for an hour.
Lakeview Special Housing Unit
June 4, 2002: Charged with drug possession. Got 365 days of Special Housing Unit (SHU), which meant he was segregated from the general prison population. He lost 12 months of "good time."
March 6, 2003: Refused a direct order. Got 240 days of SHU and lost six months of "good time."
Sing Sing Correctional Facility
June 4, 2005: Charged with drug possession, smuggling and violation of facility visiting regulations. Got 16 months and 30 days of SHU time. He also lost 12 months of visitation rights and 24 months of "good time."
Upstate Correctional Facility
April 13, 2006: Charged with interfering and false information. Received 30 days of "keeplock."
Great Meadow Correctional Facility
March 18, 2008: He was cited for drug use. Got 2 months and 16 days of SHU and 14 days of "keep lock."
March 11, 2009: He was cited for drug use. Got 150 days of "keeplock."
Attica Correctional Facility
March 19, 2011: Fought with an inmate, created a disturbance. Got 20 days of "keeplock."