A physician assistant who operates two East End medical clinics was arrested yesterday by federal agents on charges that he gave illegal prescriptions to drug dealers who then sold large quantities of the painkiller oxycodone, officials said.
Michael Troyan, 37, of Riverhead, was taken into custody by investigators with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's Long Island task force at his East End Urgent and Primary Care at 1228 E. Main St., Riverhead. Investigators also seized the records of that practice as well as Troyan's other one in Wading River, officials said.
Troyan pleaded not guilty at arraignment Wednesday before federal Magistrate Gary Brown at the federal court in Central Islip to charges of conspiracy, illegally attempting to distribute and distributing oxycodone. Brown ordered Troyan held pending a bail hearing.
Eastern District Assistant United States Attorney Allen Bode said that although Troyan operated the clinics, he had hired doctors at both places as nominal supervisors while he wrote prescriptions for controlled substances such as oxycodone.
Officials said that Troyan wrote prescriptions for 60,000 oxycodone pills between November of 2011 and October of 2015 and gave them to a network of street dealers. The dealers, who were not identified and are the subject of an ongoing probe, sold the pills for $10 each and kicked back half to Troyan, officials said.
While many federal agents and local police in the task force worked on the case, officials singled out a Rockville Centre police officer for noticing the amount of oxycodone Troyan was prescribing and helping to develop the case, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
This, along with work by other investigators, led to a probe in which Troyan was "captured on video in an undercover operation writing phony prescriptions for oxycodone and receiving large quantities of cash at his Riverhead medical office for prior illegal sales," officials said.
Troyan's attorney, Richard Haley, of Islandia, declined to comment, as did Bode.
A woman at the front desk of Troyan's Riverhead office had no comment after he had been taken into custody.
Troyan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted.
James Hunt, the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency in New York, said in a statement, referring to the Troyan case, The "DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to identify the diverted painkiller suppliers, be it an oxy street dealer, a rogue doctor, or a greedy physician assistant."
Robert Capers, the United States attorney for the Eastern District, said in a statement, "Troyan abused his authority to prescribe controlled substances and his position of trust as a physician assistant to illegally sell oxycodone in exchange for cash."
Capers said that since January of 2012 -- starting in the months following the killing of four people in a Medford pharmacy by David Laffer during a drug theft -- actions by federal and local prosecutors in the Eastern District and law enforcement officials have led to a crackdown on illegal distribution of narcotics such as oxycodone.
The crackdown has resulted in 160 prosecutions, including that of 18 health care professionals, to combat what Capers called "an epidemic increase in the abuse of so-called opioids" such as oxycodone.