Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, and at sentencing he faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
The DoJ reports that according to court filings and statements made in court at the time he entered the guilty plea, between July 2012 and June 2015 Bender received phony prescriptions for oxycodone from a Riverhead physician assistant, Michael Troyan, filled those prescriptions, and illegally exchanged the oxycodone pills for cash and steroids with another co-conspirator. The oxycodone pills were then re-sold to drug abusers. Troyan was arrested on November 4.
The government’s investigation was led by the DEA’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad, which is composed of agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department, and Port Washington Police Department. The Diversion Squad was also assisted by agents and officers of the Department of Health & Human Services, the Southampton Town Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s East End Drug Task Force.
“Abuse of oxycodone on Long Island has reached epidemic proportions,” said United States Attorney Robert L. Capers. “Councilman Bender’s actions in this oxycodone distribution conspiracy victimized the very community he was entrusted to represent. Today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder that no one is above the law, including those entrusted with passing our laws.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt added, “Diverted prescription pill distributors are a new breed of drug dealer because many hide in plain view. In this case, Southampton Town Councilman Bradley Bender allegedly distributed diverted pain medication behind the backs of his constituents. By allegedly filling fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions for street sales, he was adding fuel to the fire for the opioid problem that is running rampant throughout American cities, unlike other community representatives who are looking for ways to contain it.”