Two men that federal officials say ran a major Long Island drug ring that sold painkillers purchased through forged prescriptions have been arrested by federal drug agents.
Newsday reported Saturday that the ring is accused of using forged prescriptions to obtain more than 100,000 pills that were sold in the New York area and along the East Coast over the past two years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Canty called it "the largest oxycodone ring that has been dismantled by far."
It was the largest bust in New York since the federal crackdown that started in 2011 after four people were shot to death when an armed painkiller addict robbed a pharmacy in Medford, Long Island. He made off with thousands of pain pills but eventually pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges.
The 46-year-old alleged mastermind of the ring, Cedric Moss, was arrested earlier this week in North Carolina on federal charges including illegal distribution of oxycodone. He's awaiting arraignment, and it's unclear whether he has a lawyer. A phone number for his home could not immediately be found.
The second suspect, 26-year-old Michael Taylor, is being held without bail. His attorney declined to comment.
Three of the "runners" suspected of filling the prescriptions for the ring were arrested Friday in New York City.
The prosecutor said that neither the pharmacists nor the doctors whose forged prescription forms were used were aware of the scheme. Blank forms were used with names of uninvolved physicians to fool pharmacists.
In case a pharmacist called to verify, phone numbers of ring members were added.
The defendants face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of illegal distribution of oxycodone.