A Florida man has been charged in Nassau County, N.Y., with hacking into computer systems and commandeering the e-prescribing privileges of multiple doctors to issue thousands of narcotic prescriptions.
Devin Anthony Magarian, 21, from Kissimmee, Fla., was arraigned on January 17, 2024, before Judge Arieh Schulman on charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Second Degree (a D felony) and 15 counts of Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Fourth Degree (an A misdemeanor).
According to a press release from the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, Magarian is allegedly a leader in an elaborate, multi-state conspiracy that has fraudulently compromised the e-prescribing credentials of doctors throughout the United States and then used those credentials to issue tens of thousands of prescriptions for narcotics across the country. The privileges were typically used to create prescriptions for Oxycodone, and Promethazine and Codeine, a common cough syrup that is abused by drug users, the release said.
As part of the scheme, runners would pick up prescriptions at pharmacies in multiple states. The prescriptions were typically issued in fictitious names and sent to both chain and mom-and-pop pharmacies.
“This is one the most complex and technologically sophisticated drug operations we’ve ever witnessed,” said District Attorney Anne Donnelly, in a statement. “We learned that Devin Anthony Magarian and his associates are part of a wide-ranging conspiracy in which they surreptitiously commandeered the e-prescribing credentials of doctors. The defendant and his associates then used those compromised accounts to issue and fill tens of thousands of prescriptions for narcotics and other controlled substances in Nassau County and multiple states. This is an active investigation, and we thank our partners at the Nassau County Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York State Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and authorities in Florida for their work on this case.”
The press release also quotes DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino: “This investigation was a case of modern day piracy; criminals stealing digital prescription pads to divert medication that put hundreds of thousands of people at risk. Law enforcement acted swiftly to fully identify this elaborate criminal conspiracy operating through online illicit drug sales and interstate trafficking to shut it down. This case is a prime example that drug traffickers will stop at nothing in order to make a profit. Opioids, like fentanyl or diverted prescription medication like oxycodone, have become insipid killers who crept into the illicit drug supply and took user demand by storm resulting in 80 percent of all drug-related deaths. I applaud our law enforcement partners on their diligent work and commend the DEA Diversion team from the DEA Long Island District Office.”
Donnelly said that in February 2023 an unnamed defendant was arrested outside of a Great Neck pharmacy after picking up two prescriptions that were not in his name. After an investigation, it was determined that the unnamed defendant was in contact with Devin Anthony Magarian, a Florida resident.
The defendant allegedly operated a channel on the Telegram mobile app that served as an advertisement board. Magarian allegedly let his customers know when the next round of prescriptions – via a compromised doctor’s e-prescribing privileges – was coming, so that they could place their orders. The defendant allegedly referred to these moments as “portals.”
The defendant was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department in New York City on Jan. 17, 2024. The District Attorney’s office noted that the investigation is ongoing.
NBC New York reported that a lawyer for Magarian said the 21-year-old has no previous criminal record, and he looks forward to having him exonerated.