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Rochester Drug Co-op Doud Gets 27 Months Not 15 Years US Sought for Oxy Sales

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 8 – A major opioids jury trial began on January 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Inner City Press covered the trial, to its February 2 conclusion in two guilty verdicts. 

  Laurence F. Doud III, the former CEO of Rochester Drug Co-operative, was indicted in 2019, and the case was assigned to District Judge George B. Daniels, who presided over the trial.   

  On February 2 the jury returned with guilty on both counts. Sentencing was set for June 29. Then it was extended to September 21. On August 22 Doud through counsel call his prosecution and conviction as a CEO unprecedented, and asked for "a non-incarceratory sentence" - that is, NO jail time - and that in any event he remain released on bail pending appeal.

When Doud was sentenced on March 8, 2023, Inner City Press was there. He got 27 months, a $100,000 fine and, yes, bail pending appeal. Thread here:

Now at sentencing for corporate drug dealing of Doud. US wants 15 years. Judge is disputing that all drugs were diverted. 

Doud's Rochester Drug Co-op sold oxy to red flagged pharmacies. But Judge says not all sales were illegitimate.

Defense lawyer: We agree!

Judge Daniels (laughing) I'm sure you do. This sentencing is still at guidelines calculation stage... Judge Daniels: So I find offense level 18, guideline27 to 33 months. [US was asking for 15 years. Ruling seems like a big loss for them. Story coming

 Doud's lawyer: My client is religious, but he is imperfect. We've learned only recently of the dangers of opioids.

Doud's lawyer. Repeats: We ask for a non custodial sentence [no jail time]. He's retired, he's 79. In terms of general deterrence, arrest and conviction have been enough. Social media publicized both. We also want release / bail pending appeal- despite presumption

 Note: This defense lawyer is apparently being paid by the word. The sentencing has been going for 2 hours..

Doud himself: I had no malice. I just did a lousy job. Thank you. Judge Daniels: I will apply the recalculated guidelines. The US has asked for too much. But non incarceratory is not sufficient. I sentence you to 27 months.

 Judge: Also a $100,000 fine.  [Doud and his long winded lawyer are whispering] Judge: I will stay jail time pending appeal, 90 days after 2nd Circuit decision. AUSA: We object.

More with analysis on Substack here.

On December 9, Doud asked for another adjournment of sentencing, to an unspecified date by which all of his motions have been ruled on. On December 13, the US Attorney's Office opposed, adding that "if the Court is inclined to grant an adjournment, the Government respectfully requests that the adjournment be for no more than 30 days."

On December 21, Judge Daniels ruled: "ORDER as to Laurence F. Doud III: The sentencing scheduled for January 4, 2023 is adjourned to January 31, 2023 at 9:45 a.m. Sentencing submissions are due a week prior to sentencing. (Sentencing set for 1/31/2023 at 09:45 AM before Judge George B. Daniels) (Signed by Judge George B. Daniels on 12/21/2022)."

But on January 11 Doud's counsel wrote in again, now wanting to further delay Doud's sentencing into March.

And on January 12, he got it: "Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings as to Laurence F. Doud III: Sentencing set for 3/8/2023 at 10:00 AM before Judge George B. Daniels."

On February 23, Daniels denied most but not all of Doud's motions: "MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER [151] Motion for Acquittal as to Laurence F. Doud III. On February 2, 2022, a jury convicted Defendant Laurence Doud of conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone and 400 grams or more offentanyl in violation of21 U.S.C. งง 841 and 846, and of conspiring to defraud the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") in violation of 18 U.S.C. ง 371. Before this Court is Defendant's January 28, 2022 Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 or, in the alternative, a New Trial Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33. (ECF No. 151.) Defendant's Rule 29 motion is GRANTED as to the jury's finding that his Count One conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances involved at least 400 grams of fentanyl, and that finding as to weight is vacated. Defendant's Rule 29 motion is otherwise DENIED and his two convictions stand. Defendant's Rule 33 motion is DENIED in its entirety. Defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal pursuant to Rule 29, (ECF No. 151), is GRANTED as to the jury's finding that his Count One conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances involved at least 400 gram s of fentanyl, and that sentencing enhancement as to weight is vacated. Defendant's Rule 29 motion is otherwise DENIED and his two convictions stand. Defendant's Rule 33 motion is DENIED in its entirety (Signed by Judge George B. Daniels on 2/23/2023)."

On March 3, Doud argued against for no jail time, headlining that "Mr. Doud should not be the scapegoat of this nation's opioid epidemic."

 Previously, Inner City Press live tweeted here:

in the opioids trial of US v. Doud (CEO of Rochester Drug Co-op) there is a verdict. Judge Daniels is bringing the jury in. Larry Doud was not at the defense table earlier today while his lawyers argued with the prosecutors about how to respond to a jury note about fenanyl dosage. But he's at the table now. Still waiting for the jury and their verdict.

 Jury entering!

Judge Daniels: We received your note, that you have a verdict. So I'll ask my law clerk to get it.

Foreperson: Guilty!

Did Defendant Doud conspire to distribute fentanyl? Foreperson: Yes. 400 grams and more.

Court 2? Foreperson: Guilty.

Judge Daniels: Thank you for your services, especially under the COVID circumstances.

 Back on January 16, two days before jury selection, Doud's lawyer Robert C. Gottlieb wrote to Judge Daniels to oppose admission of the testimony of Barbara Castro, an opioids addict.

Assistant US Attorneys Thomas Burnett, Nicolas Roos and Alexandra Rothman had indicated they intend to call Castro "as early as Tuesday, January 18, 2022, in the afternoon."

But Day 1 went long. Inner City Press live tweeted it.

  On Day 2, a witness who worked under Doud at RDC cried on the stand. Inner City Press live tweeted here and below.

  Day 3 came toward a close, with the same witness, with two POVs on a closed door meeting between Larry Doud and Jessica Pompeo leading to the latter's tears, but why? Live tweeted here.

On January 24, at the end, Doud's lawyer bristled at being told, again, that the DEA is not on trial. Inner City Press live tweeted, here and below.

 On Janaury 25, as the US said it is nearing resting its case and the defense fretted about not having a witness ready - in the US v. Maxwell trial that meant the defense was finished too - an expert took the stand. The taxpayers are paying him $900 an hour, for 50 hours so far. Inner City Press tweeted it here

On January 26, a pharmacy owner from Staten Island (and before that Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) testified, after he cut a cooperator's deal on Jan 14. It is coming to a close. Inner City Press live tweeted here and below.

  On January 27 the evidence wrapped up and Inner City Press live tweeted the wrapping up, here and below.
 On January 28, with the trial not meeting, Doud's lawyers put in a Rule 29 motion for acquittal, arguing that even the US' star witness William Pietruszewski acknowledged on cross he had entered no conspiracy. They quote his answer that Joe Brennan "never said he wanted the medications diverted for non-medical purposes," and said Jessica Pompeo (now Bouk) and Amy Skibickhi were in the same boat. From Judge Daniels statements so far, this motion would seem to have little chance of success. Watch this site.

in opioids trial against Larry Doud of Rochester Drug Co-op, it's the final day of witnesses. Judge Daniels has criticized Doud's lawyer's argument about yesterday's cooperator.

 In the morning there was a Doud "character witness" who said she could not think of a single negative adjective to apply to Doud. Now an expert is disagreeing with / rebutting the government's / taxpayers' $900/hour expert Cutler of Harvard

 Q: Was Larry Doud incented to sell controlled substances based on his compensation structure? Objection! Judge Daniels: Sustained. I'm not sure he's qualified to answer.

Q: No further questions at this time. AUSA: Good afternoon, Mr. Martinovik (sp). Did you meet with the defense attorneys this morning? Witness: Yes. AUSA: Didn't you say you had an unmovable conflict today? Objection! (on delay)

 It's past 4 pm on the final day of evidence in opioids prosecution of US v. Doud's and defense lawyer Gottlieb is still cross examining from the HEPA-filter equipped booth. Gottlieb: You see pharmacies were suspended or terminated - were you asked to look at them?

 AUSA: Objection! Judge Daniels: Mr Gottlieb, do you have anything further?  Gottlieb: I have nothing further.  Re-direct. AUSA: Mr. Fiore, just so everyone is clear, do you know if RDC actually stopped selling, or the defense exhibit is inaccurate?

Witness: No, I don't know.

AUSA: Call up exhibit 918, last page, page 37. This was a termination. This pharmacy, how much in Oxy? Witness: $41. AUSA: And this one? Witness: $8300.

AUSA: No further questions. Judge Daniels: We'll adjourn for the weekend.

 Judge Daniels: I hope we just have the closings on Monday. But we might have a bit more evidence then.

AUSA: Jury charge when? Judge Daniels: 2 pm tomorrow, responses noon Saturday. AUSA: Exhibits on a drive? Or do we use paper? Judge Daniel: Let me see, I'll check the protocol.

 Defense: The sales data takes like ten minutes to load.  Judge Daniels: We could bring the jurors out and explain, they could narrow their request. AUSA: Do we provide note pads?  Judge Daniels: We do that. See you Monday

From January 26: opioids trial of US v. Larry Doud of Rochester Drug Co-operative nearing end, Judge Daniels has been asking defense lawyer Gottlieb why witnesses not ready, now a pharmacist on stand.

 Pharmacy owner: I signed up with RDC, it was easy. The customers were re-selling the pills, unfortunately. AUSA: And your pharmacist? Owner: He basically slept all day.  AUSA: Is this is a photo of him sleeping? Owner: Yes.

AUSA: Did you fill prescriptions for Doctors like Suarez and Carl Anderson? Owner(Paulson, of "Regal Remedies" on Staten Island) Yes.

 Email is read into the record, about how many opioids were being sold, ending with "It's Staten Island, need I say more?" story later

Paulson now on cross:

Doud's second chair: You don't actually know Mr. Doud, do you? Paulson: I do not. Doud's 2d chair: You signed a cooperation agreement just before trial, and surrender to jail, right? Paulson: Correct.

 Doud's 2d chair: You sold pills out of the back door of your pharmacy, didn't you? Paulson: Yes. Doud's 2d chair: You fraudulently held yourself out as a pharmacist, weren't you? Paulson: Yes.

 Doud's 2d chair: You filed false papers with RDC, didn't you? Paulson: I did. Doud's 2d chair: They wouldn't know the papers were false, would they? Paulson: I dealt with doctors they knew were hot. Doud's 2d chair: That's not my question.

 Doud's 2d chair: You worked before at a pharmacy on 86th Street in Brooklyn, right? Paulson: Yes. Doud's 2d chair: And that's a working class neighborhood, fair to say? Paulson: Fair to say. No further questions.

 Re-direct. AUSA: Who sold you the drugs? Paulson: RDC. AUSA: Did they appear to be decieved? Paulson: Not to me. AUSA: No further questions.... The government calls its own paralegal as a witness.

Judge Daniels, to jury: I intend to finish with witnesses tomorrow. I won't have you come in Friday, I've heard there is a storm. Closing arguments on Monday. Adjourned.

From January 24: Opioids trial of US v. Larry Doud of Rochester Drug Co-operative still plugging along, on cross examination after day of compliance witness in the charged conspiracy.

 Defense: Are you aware of any law that defined suspicious orders or orders of unusual frequency? Witness: I'm not sure. Defense: Were you aware that the DEA didn't even want registrants to tell it when they found red flags?  Witness: I did not.

Judge Daniels dismisses the jury. Now AUSA argues again, the DEA is not on trial, Mr. Doud is. Defense lawyer Gottlieb: There were instances that RDC went out of its way to do compliance. Not a perfect job, but they did it.

 Gottlieb: My client's live is on the stand [on the line] and I have a right to cross examine. I don't need lessons from the government. Judge Daniels: I think of the case from the jurors' perspective, not the lawyers' perspective.

Judge Daniels says, We are breaking for the day, & that tomorrow morning he has to deal with another matter before resuming the trial (sentencing then class action settlement. But we'll keep on it

 After the trial date, the defnse put in a letter seeking to exclude 95 slides to be used by US expert David Cutler, on Doud's income, comparisons of opioids shipments and on compliance adequacy, on which they say Cutler is not an expert.

Day 3: Larry Doud at defense table leaning forward listening to re-direct examination about particular pharmacies "turned on" by Rochester Drug Co-operative. 

AUSA: You see this email, where Larry Doud wrote, I don't think it's going to end well?  Witness: Yes. AUSA: Then this one is later. What's going on? Witness: We were questioning if we should release the order. But we did.

AUSA: And GX 278? Witness; A red flag suspension on Stanton. But it was years later... In this other case, even after Julius Morton went, there were still red flags. Even after they were turned off, management turned them back on.

Witness: This was from Larry Doud, I was cc-ed. He asked, Why does it make Jessica so long to do the reports? Sure seems like a slow process. AUSA: No further questions.

 Defense re-cross: You said "upper management" was responsible, right? But wasn't that Bill P? Witness: Not necessarily.

Judge Daniels: We have a witness in from Rochester. You may take off your mask. Witness 2: I was the credit manager of RDC.

 AUSA: What is a credit limit? Witness 2: The amount of credit we extend them. AUSA: What is a credit hold?

Witness 2: For example if they are behind on payment. AUSA: Did Larry Doud ever ask you to lift them? Witness 2: Yes.

AUSA: Did you know Jessica Pompeo? Witness 2: Yes.... One time Larry went in and met with her then she came out with eyes red. She said Larry made her release the hold on an account. Defense: Is it illegal to remove a hold? Witness: No.

Judge Daniel: Already, we are done for the day.

Day 2: Now there are tears on the witness stand, with Larry Doud directly accused on not reporting irregularities to DEA

Assistant US Attorney: While you worked in the compliance department, how many orders were flagged? Witness: Many. AUSA: What is this? Witness: The DEA Month and Orders of Interest report, from 2012 to 2017.  AUSA: Was anything reported? Witness: No.

AUSA: What did you write here? Witness: That there was a red flag, High cash for benzo. AUSA: Read from "man oh man."

Witness: "All the new stores we are bringing on have issues."

 AUSA: Meaning? Witness: That we had seen red flags. AUSA: Read the 1st paragraph from Julius Morton.

Witness: One of the partners, Roman of a pharmacy in Yonkers, he said we at RDC is picking up rejects from Cardinal and other distributors. Witness: Doud said the DEA was loosening up its visits - Defense: Objection!

Judge: Ask her how she knows. AUSA: Ms. How do you know this? Witness: Larry told us. He wanted accounts turned on as soon as they passed our credit check.

AUSA: And this? Witness: It's Larry Doud to me, it says "I do not want to slow this down." AUSA: No due diligence?

Witness: No, we were not reviewing the dispensing data. AUSA: Did Dowd speak to you? Witness: Yes. He said, turn them on for controlled substances.

 AUSA: Play the voicemail. "Larry came into my office... I don't want Larry to be thinking I'm being obstinate."

AUSA: GX 502-T is an accurate transcript of your voicemail? Witness: Yes. AUSA: Are you aware of a pharmacy called 59 Street, in Brooklyn? Witness: Yes.

Defense: Can we have a side bar? Judge Daniels: Uh... Defense: It'll be brief. [Note: Now Doud is sitting alone at the defense table, looking at witness and his lawyers conferring with prosecutors and Judge Daniels at the sidebar

 They're back. AUSA: Was this pharmacy, 59th Street, turned on while Larry Doud was at the company? In 2016? Defense: Objection! Let the witness answer. Judge: Sustained. AUSA: OK, look at this email. Witness: It's December 2016. Larry was there.

Witness: Petropinto... David Taylor, previous vetted, oxy 30 mg. Bay Ridge, family medicine, high cash. 90% cash for South Shore Pro Health. Lambrakis, 100% cash.

AUSA: And Carl Anderson? Witness: We flagged him.

It's 4:55 pm. Judge Daniels excuses the juror and tellst the witness to step down. Defense lawyer Gottlieb: Anything after March 2017 is not relevant. Allowing it in creates a real due process for us. We weren't put on notice.

 Judge Daniels: If I stole a car then they discover it later, that's admissible.  It's fair game. Government? AUSA: She'll say she reported later because Larry Doud wasn't there saying don't report. We can brief it overnight.

Day 1: AUSA accusing Team Doud of putting the US on trial.

First US witness against Doud is a former DEA agent, now working in a  different job in Virginia. "I dealt with the registrants in the field."

Assistant US Attorney: What did you do in that role? Witness: I was the chief. I went to industry sponsored conferences

 AUSA: What is Subsys? Witness: An opioid spray for break-through pain. AUSA: Fentanyl? Witness:  Yes. It's very dangerous.  AUSA: What's this? Witness: A bottle of Oxy.

 AUSA: What's this? Witness: A chart showing the supply chain... It shows how the drug gets from the manufacturer to the user. Inner City Press

 It's approaching 4:30 pm and Doud's lawyer's cross continues (still no user as Inner City Press reported on yesterday)

Defense: Do you agree that a distributor has no way to know if a pharmacy's info is accurate & has no  obligation to investigate a prescription?

Defense confronts witness with prior testimony, then asks: Isn't it the case the distributors often use outside consultants to conduct investigations? Witness: Yes...

The case is US v. Doud, 19-cr-285 (Daniels) 


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