- Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal
Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced
that a Jersey City man was sentenced to
state prison today for distributing Percocet
pills and heroin, both in a school zone,
last year. Two other defendants both from
Jersey City pleaded guilty for their respective
roles in the operation.
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza
Dagli, David Rodriguez, 36, of Jersey City,
was sentenced to seven years in state prison,
including 36 months of parole ineligibility,
by Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Callahan
in Hudson County. Rodriguez pleaded guilty
on Dec. 9, 2009 to one count of third-degree
distribution of heroin and one count of
third-degree distribution of Percocet, both
within 1,000 feet of a school.
pleading guilty, Rodriguez admitted that
on Sept. 10, 2009, he distributed Percocet
pills and on Nov. 3, 2009 he distributed
heroin in Jersey City. On both occasions,
he was within 1,000 feet of a school.
today, Orlando Rosario, 46, of Jersey City,
pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy
to distribute narcotics and Edward Harmon,
50, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty to second-degree
distribution of narcotics. In pleading guilty,
Rosario admitted that between Sept. 1 and
Oct. 19, 2009, he agreed with others to
distribute OxyCotin in Hudson County. Harmon
admitted that on Dec. 21, 2009 he distributed
Percocet pills in an amount greater that
one ounce, a second-degree offense.
Callahan scheduled sentencing for June 4,
at which time the state will recommend a
four-year prison sentence for Rosario a
three-year prison sentence for Harmon.
these guilty pleas demonstrate, we are moving
forward with our investigation and prosecution
to bring the members of this criminal network
to justice for distributing dangerous narcotics
in our communities," said Acting Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor Dagli. "We have also
charged doctors and pharmacists with participating
in this ring and falsely billing Medicaid."
sentence and Rosario and Harmon’s
pleas resulted from Operation MedScam, an
ongoing investigation by the Office of the
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid
Fraud Control Unit and the Jersey City Police
Department’s Special Investigation
Unit. Since October, more than 32 people,
including doctors and pharmacists, have
been arrested in the joint investigation,
which uncovered a major criminal narcotics
network based in Hudson County that distributed
thousands of black market prescription pain
pills such as OxyContin and Percocet. The
network was obtaining fraudulent narcotics
prescriptions and filling them at various
pharmacies. At the same time, Medicaid was
being billed for phony doctor visits and
prescription medicines that were never dispensed.
network allegedly distributed the prescription
pain pills throughout Hudson County and
other parts of the state, including Bergen,
Ocean, Morris and Monmouth counties. A single
30 milligram OxyContin pill, known as a
“blue,” typically sells for
$10 to $20 on the street, while a 10 milligram
Percocet pill sells for $5 to $8.
Kevin Gannon, Sgt. Frederick Weidman and
Deputy Attorneys General Debra A. Conrad
and Cynthia Vazquez were assigned to the
investigation into this case for OIFP’s
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Deputy Attorneys
General Conrad and Vazquez prosecuted the
case and represented the Office of the Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing.
were assisted by the following members of
the Jersey City Police Department's Special
Investigation Unit under the supervision
of Chief Thomas Comey: Capt. Gary Lallo,
Sgt. Anthony Musante, Sgt. Wally Wolf, Detective
Wael Shahid, Detective Jeff Guilfoyle, Detective
Vincent Disbrow, Detective Hector Marrero,
Police Officer Alex Torres, Police Officer
Chris Dolan, and Police Officer Erik Infantes.
Medicaid program, which is funded by the
state and federal governments, provides
health care services and prescription drugs
to persons who may not otherwise be able
to afford such services and medicines. The
State of New Jersey administers the Medicaid
program through the Division of Medical
Assistance and Health Services and through
the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which investigates
both criminal and civil Medicaid fraud and
abuse in that program.
with information about fraud or abuse involving
the Medicaid program or Medicaid providers
is urged to call the Medicaid Fraud Control
Unit toll free at 1-877-55-FRAUD
or visit www.NJInsuranceFraud.org.
All information received will remain confidential.