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Feds: IRS attorney charged with using drug he sold

Jack Vitayanon leaves federal court in Central Islip,

Jack Vitayanon leaves federal court in Central Islip, Feb. 15, 2017. Vitayanon was in court to answer drug charges. Credit: Ed Betz

An attorney for the Internal Revenue Service, who was released on bond in February after being charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on Long Island, has been jailed after he tested positive for the drug, officials said.

At the time of his initial arrest, then-Eastern District U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said Jack Vitayanon “broke bad,” and the case was a real-life version of the cable TV show “Breaking Bad.” That show featured a fictional high school chemistry teacher who went into the illegal methamphetamine business.

Vitayanon, 41, had his bond revoked Friday and was ordered imprisoned by U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip, after prosecutors said at a court hearing that “he failed numerous drug tests,” according to Eastern District spokesman John Marzulli.

Vitayanon’s attorney, Bradley Simon of Manhattan, said Monday: “Mr. Vitayanon acknowledges he has an addiction problem, and we are working now to get the help he needs.”

Simon said his client had been unsuccessfully trying to get into a treatment program, and that he was hopeful the judge would release him to a program as soon as he is admitted.

Vitayanon, who pleaded not guilty, had been released on $500,000 bond, on a number of conditions, including that he not use drugs.

An Ivy-League educated, Washington, D.C.-based attorney for the IRS’ Office of Professional Responsibility, Vitayanon was arrested on an indictment charging him with conspiracy and distribution of the drug on Long Island and in Arizona.

That IRS office “focuses on enforcement of regulations governing the practices before the IRS by attorneys, accountants, and other tax professionals,” according to its website.

Vitayanon, a graduate of Dartmouth and Columbia law school, also was an adjunct professor of tax law at Georgetown.

According to court records, the federal investigation into Vitayanon began in December after an unidentified person in Oceanside said that both that person and Vitayanon “purchased distribution quantities” of the drug from a source in Arizona.

Vitayanon was videotaped during the investigation “smoking what appeared to be methamphetamine from a glass pipe,” the records say.

If convicted of the charges, Vitayanon faces at least 151 months in prison, or about 12 1/2 years, officials have said.

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