Choking back tears, Riverhead physician assistant Michael Troyan detailed years of drug abuse and a scheme to sell painkillers on the street to feed his habit as he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in a federal courtroom in Central Islip Friday.
Prosecutors will recommend a minimum sentencing of nine years in prison without parole and he has agreed to forfeit $710,000. He paid $3,000 at court Friday, but his attorney Mark Musachio of Deer Park, said he is unlikely to have the ability to pay that back prior to his sentencing as his plea agreement requires.
“Realistically he won’t be able to pay that in full by the time of his sentencing,” he said in court, adding that prosecutors will have to file a judgement to go after his assets.
Prosecutors said they will seek asset forfeiture at that point.
Mr. Troyan, who was wearing a black suit in court, is scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. Sept. 30 before Judge Denis Hurley of the Eastern District Court. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Mr. Troyan agreed to waive his right to an appeal if the sentence is fewer than 12 1/2 years.
Mr. Troyan, 37, a physician assistant at East End Urgent and Primary Care in Riverhead, was arrested in November by federal authorities for illegally distributing thousands of prescription narcotic drug pills. He was described by prosecutors as the ringleader of the scheme, which unraveled after a complaint from a surgeon after one of his patients re-opened stitches with a pencil following a tonsillectomy because the patient was so desperate for pain pills. Prosecutors said Mr. Troyan was caught on video shortly before his arrest as well.
In court Friday, Mr. Troyan said there was “one main co-conspirator who hasn’t yet been named [in court]. That man would send in other people who would fill a prescription, return it to him, he would then distribute the pills and return to me not only money but pills … because I had a very bad drug problem.”
Mr. Troyan said he went through severe withdrawal while in custody. Since his arrest, he has received out-patient treatment for drug abuse and mental illness, Mr. Troyan said.
“I’ve been clean and sober for approximately 226 days,” he said in court.
Prosecutors said the scheme ran from November 2011 through October 2015. Judge Hurley asked Mr. Troyan in court about that date range.
“The date range is pretty accurate,” Mr. Troyan responded. “It’s how I maintained my drug habit.”
Former Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender, a co-conspirator of Mr. Troyan, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 24.
Mr. Troyan was released after court Friday on a continuation of his bail agreement.
Mr. Troyan and his attorney declined further comment after the court appearance.
Photo Caption: Michael Troyan leaves court Friday surrounded by family members. (Credit: Grant Parpan)