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February 9, 10

NEWS / Jersey City Man Pleads Guilty to Dealing Oxycontin In School Zone

TRENTON - Acting Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Jersey City man pleaded guilty today to distributing OxyContin pills in a school zone on three occasions last year.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Raymond Bremner, 42, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty to second-degree distribution of narcotics, two counts of second-degree distribution of narcotics within 500 feet of a public park, and three counts of third-degree distribution of narcotics within 1,000 feet of a school. Bremner pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Callahan in Hudson County. Four of the counts were filed by accusation and the remaining counts were part of an Aug. 29, 2009 Hudson County grand jury indictment.

In pleading guilty, Bremner admitted that on three occasions in 2009 - on May 14, Oct. 3 and Oct. 12 - he distributed OxyContin pills in Jersey City. On all three occasions, he was within 1,000 feet of a school, and on both occasions in October he was also within 500 feet of a public park, Sergeant Anthony Park. The transaction in May involved more than one-half ounce of OxyContin.

Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Bremner be sentenced to seven years in state prison, including 33 months without possibility of parole. Judge Callahan scheduled sentencing for Bremner for March 26. Deputy Attorney General Debra A. Conrad represented the state at the guilty plea hearing.

Todayís plea resulted from an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutorís Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Jersey City Police Departmentís Special Investigation Unit. Since October, more than 25 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.

The 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 ďblue,Ē typically sells for $10 to $20 on the street, while a 10 milligram Percocet pill sells for $5 to $8.

Detective Kevin Gannon and Deputy Attorneys General Cynthia Vazquez and Debra A. Conrad were assigned to the investigation into this case for OIFPís Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The 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 Prosecutorís Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which investigates both criminal and civil Medicaid fraud and abuse in that program.




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