For First Time, Pharmaceutical Distributor Faces Federal Criminal Charges Over Opioid Crisis


Together, the agreement and the decree will allow the company to continue operating and set standards and oversight of its conduct, according to a court document.

“We made mistakes,” Jeff Eller, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement. “And RDC understands that these mistakes, directed by former management, have serious consequences.”

State and federal authorities have struggled to hold pharmaceutical distributors accountable, and the lawsuits brought by state attorneys general say that despite signing consent decrees and paying fines, the companies have continued to ship thousands of doses of opioids to troubled pharmacies.

The two former RDC officials charged in the case are Laurence F. Doud III, who had served as chief executive, and William Pietruszewski, the former chief of compliance, several people with knowledge of the matter said.

Mr. Doud, 75, of New Smyrna, Fla., surrendered to D.E.A. agents on Tuesday morning and was expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of failing to file suspicious order reports.

Mr. Pietruszewski, 53, of Oak Ridge, N.J., pleaded guilty on April 19 to the same charges and is cooperating with prosecutors, according to people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Doud last year sued Rochester Drug Cooperative, alleging in court papers that the company had wrongfully fired him and that other executives were conspiring to blame him for the conduct that was the subject of the criminal investigation.



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