New Jersey doctor admits opioid distribution actions

New Jersey doctor admits opioid distribution actions

The Department of Justice said a Bergen County, N.J., doctor has admitted to distributing opioids without a legitimate medical reason and falsifying medical records to cover it up.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Robert Delagente, 45, of Oakland, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to a federal indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances, three counts of distribution of controlled dangerous substances and one count of falsifying medical records.

“This defendant knowingly prescribed for his patients some of the most dangerous and addictive drugs available, sometimes with no more contact than a text message from the patient,” Carpenito said. “Many of these patients were dealing with pain and addiction, and instead of getting help from their doctor, they were drawn deeper into the cycle of drug abuse. His admission of guilt ensures that he will be appropriately punished for this behavior.”

Authorities said Delagente knowingly prescribed controlled substances, such as oxycodone, Percocet, Tylenol with codeine, and various benzodiazepines outside the ordinary course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

The Department of Justice noted Delagente prescribed controlled substances without seeing the purported patient for a medical visit or discussing the medical need for the prescription.

Delagente faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each of the distribution of controlled dangerous substances charges. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the charge of falsifying medical records.

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