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Top Stories 2016: Plea, sentencing in prescription drug scheme

East End Urgent and Primary Care Riverhead Michal Troyan

One of the biggest stories of 2015 carried into this year, as a former Southampton Town councilman went to prison and a Riverhead physician assistant pleaded guilty in an alleged prescription painkiller kickback scheme.

Physician assistant Michael Troyan detailed years of drug abuse and a scheme to sell painkillers to feed his habit as he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in June. He agreed to forfeit $710,000 and prosecutors said they will recommend a minimum sentence of nine years in prison.

Mr. Troyan, 37, a physician assistant at East End Urgent and Primary Care in Riverhead, was arrested by federal authorities in November 2015 for illegally distributing thousands of prescription narcotic drug pills over a four-year period. He was described by prosecutors as the ringleader of the scheme, which involved him writing prescriptions to individuals he knew would sell them on the street and provide him with a kickback. The plan unraveled after a complaint from a surgeon when one of Mr. Troyan’s patients reopened stitches with a pencil following a tonsillectomy because the patient was so desperate for pain pills.

Mr. Troyan’s sentencing, which is currently scheduled for Jan. 20, has twice been postponed as he continues to cooperate with investigators.

Former Southampton Town councilman Brad Bender, a co-conspirator of Mr. Troyan, pleaded guilty upon his arrest last November to conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone and is currently serving a two-year prison sentence.

To date, no other arrests have been publicly linked to this investigation.

File photo: East End Urgent and Primary Care.