Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Brooklyn woman gets 6 months for role in Staten Island Rx ring

A Brooklyn woman who used her job managing a doctor's office to supply a drug ring that sold oxycodone out of an ice-cream truck on Staten Island will spend six months in jail for her part in the alleged scheme.

Nancy Wilkins, 40, of Highland Park, handed over hundreds of prescription forms to the mob-connected drug ring, authorities said, then ran telephone interference if a pharmacist became suspicious and called the doctor.

The group distributed some 42,755 oxycodone pills across the borough in 2009 and 2010, largely by selling them out of a Lickety Split ice-cream truck at several spots on the South Shore.

On Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Jill Konviser sentenced Ms. Wilkins to six months' jail time and five years' probation.

She had pleaded guilty in May to the top count against her, conspiracy in the fourth degree, a felony, as well as single counts of fourth-degree criminal diversion of medications and prescriptions and fourth-degree criminal facilitation.

The case is being handled by Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.

A law enforcement source familiar with the case said the nature of the legal statute limited the amount of jail time Ms. Wilkins could receive. Though she played a key role in the drug scheme, she never possessed any of the drugs, and "the way the law was crafted, she faces lower-level crimes and lower-level penalties," the source said.

The scheme's alleged ringleaders, Louis Scala, 29, of Bedell Street in Pleasant Plains, and Joseph Zaffuto, 39, of Darnell Place in Charleston, a reputed Lucchese crime family soldier, both face multiple counts of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell charges. Their cases are still pending.

Scala operated an ice-cream truck that served the South Shore, and customers knew to wait in certain spots for the truck to arrive, according to prosecutors. They replenished their supply by recruiting 28 "runners," many of whom were addicts desperate for cash, to fill forged prescriptions on the forms provided by Ms. Wilkins, prosecutors said.

The truck sold primarily around Scala and Zaffuto's Charleston and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods, and it dealt mainly with friends, neighbors and relatives, prosecutors said.

It all fell apart last June when one of the runners committed a series of pharmacy robberies, including one pharmacy where he had earlier tried to pass a forged prescription, prosecutors allege, and caught the attention of a state Health Department investigator.

The investigator pulled the doctor's files and found it suspicious that so many Staten Island patients would be going to a Manhattan doctor to receive painkiller prescriptions.



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