Two Long Island medical professionals pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally distributing oxycodone, officials said.
Rools Deslouches, 42, a nurse practitioner from Brentwood, and Stephen Owusu, 57, a Valley Stream podiatrist, each pleaded guilty in unrelated cases at federal court in Central Islip to illegally writing prescriptions for oxycodone, according to officials.
"Instead of providing needed medical services to their communities, Deslouches and Owusu fueled the prescription drug crisis that has swept over our district and our nation," Eastern District United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
Brian Crowell, the head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office, said "neither Deslouches nor Owusu practiced medicine, but practiced drug dealing."
Deslouches distributed the painkillers -- 422,000 pills -- between October of 2011 and February of 2012 to about 300 people and almost all of them, he knew, were either drug dealers or addicts, officials said.
One-third of Deslouches' patients, whom he charged $200 to $400 per prescription, had criminal records for narcotics-related offenses, officials said.
In court, Deslouches told U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein, "I prescribed oxycodone without medical justification."
Owusu, who had a podiatry practice in Brooklyn, wrote more than 450 prescriptions, including several to undercover agents in a Rockville Centre parking lot, according to court papers. Between March 2009 and July 2011, Owusu charged $300 for an oxycodone prescription to people who were not his patients. Most of the painkillers were then sold to narcotics users in street level transactions, officials said.
Deslouches and Owusu each face up to 20 years in prison and a million dollar fine when they are sentenced.
Lisa Scolari, Deslouches' attorney, declined to comment, as did Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Canty. Owusu's attorney, Steve Zissou, also declined to comment.
Deslouches and Owusu are the latest medical professionals to plead guilty since an intensive federal crackdown on illegal distribution of oxycodone on Long Island began in 2011, following David Laffer's murder of four people in a Medford pharmacy while stealing painkillers.
Two doctors pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing; one doctor has been convicted and sentenced to 30 months; and two doctors are awaiting trial.
With Gary Dymski