Dr. William Conway sentenced to 8 years for illegally distributing oxycodone – Newsday

Federal agents raided the office of Dr. William Conway in Baldwin and carried out about a half-dozen boxes of records on Feb. 29, 2012. (Credit: Jim Staubitser)

A Baldwin doctor was sentenced to 8 years in prison Thursday for illegally distributing the narcotic painkiller oxycodone by a federal judge who said the doctor was responsible for the death of one of patients.

Dr. William Conway, 70, will appeal the sentence, said his attorney Richard Langone after the court appearance in the federal court in Central Islip.

Conway had pleaded guilty…

A Baldwin doctor was sentenced to 8 years in prison Thursday for illegally distributing the narcotic painkiller oxycodone by a federal judge who said the doctor was responsible for the death of one of patients.

Dr. William Conway, 70, will appeal the sentence, said his attorney Richard Langone after the court appearance in the federal court in Central Islip.

Conway had pleaded guilty in July of 2013 to the distribution charge and theoretically faced a sentence of between 7 to 9 years under the suggested federal sentencing guidelines.

In his plea, Conway did not admit to being responsible for the deaths of any of his patients as a result of prescribing the drug to them.

But in August of this year, U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler ruled that Conway was responsible for the death of patient Giovanni Manzella, 34, of Long Beach.

Even if a defendant hasn’t admitted to such actions, a federal judge is allowed to take into account such conduct in determining sentencing.

Both federal probation officers and prosecutors asked to the judge to do so, recommending that Conway be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, for the 2011 deaths of both Manzella and another patient Christopher Basmas, 29, of Hicksville.

In his August ruling, Wexler said “Dr. Conway prescribed oxycodone to Manzella for no legitimate medical purpose”and that Manzella died as a result of using the oxycodone Dr. Conway prescribed. In order for Conway to face the stiffer sentence, the judge did not have to rule on the cause of Basmas’ death.

Langone, of Garden City, had argued that both Manzella and Basmas were “long-term opioid abusers and doctor shoppers,” adding that Manzella had 43 other doctors and Basmas 28. The two, as well as other patients, had the ability to manipulate the well-intentioned Conway into prescribing the painkillers, Langone argued.

Federal prosecutors said that in all Conway had written 5,554 prescriptions for 782,032 oxycodone pills between January of 2009 and November of 2011 — some for people he had never treated or even met.

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Dr. William Conway sentenced to 8 years for illegally distributing oxycodone – Newsday

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