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Manhattan Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty to Lying to DEA Agents Regarding Controlled Substances

A former Manhattan pharmacy owner plead guilty to making false statements to Drug Enforcement Agency officers on two occasions regarding possession of controlled dangerous substances.

After selling his pharmacy, Richard Schirripa told DEA officers on two occasions that he had either transferred, destroyed or sold the controlled substances he had. Officers discovered, though, that he still had thousands of these patches or pills, which he was keeping in his home.

The controlled substances that were prescribed to other people included oxycodone and fentanyl. According to court documents, in January of 2020, Schirripa closed his Madison Avenue Pharmacy, which was located in Manhattan. The owner didn’t comply with a law that requires all pharmacies to notify the DEA within 14 days of shutting down their operations.

Officers only realized the pharmacy had closed when they were attempting to conduct a routine audit of the facility. When arriving at the location, officers saw a sign in the store window saying Madison Avenue Pharmacy had been closed, and all controlled substances it had were transferred to another pharmacy.

DEA officers then visited that other pharmacy that was specified on the letter. That month, Schirripa wrote to the DEA then met with officers in person in February 2020.

In both instances, Schirripa made false statements to the officers, telling them he either sold, destroyed or transferred all the controlled substances when he closed his pharmacy.

DEA officers discovered that Schirripa had kept in his possession thousands of controlled substances, which he kept in a safe in his Long Island home. An April 2020 search warrant revealed the substances, which Schirripa admitted were from his pharmacy, but he said he was going to destroy them.

DEA officers found almost 4,000 patches or pills, and some had labels indicating they were prescribed to other people.

Schirripa, a 67-year-old man from Fort Salonga, New York, reached a plea agreement in the case. As part of that agreement, he also admitted to regulatory violations about controlled substances. He also agreed to surrender his pharmacy licenses, a three-year ban on re-apply for the license and a three-year ban on employment that would involve him controlling, possessing or distributing any controlled substances.

The one count of making false statements that he plead guilty to has a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Schirripa’s sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2021.