Dr. William Conway prescribed oxycodone and other meds, leading to fatal overdoses of two people
(Long Island, NY) A doctor in Baldwin is facing a jail sentence of 20-plus years after he admitted to prescribing painkillers such as oxycodone to people he knew were addicted to them, without even performing medical exams, leading to the overdose deaths of two people, according to reports.
Dr. William Conway, 70, (pictured above) was arrested last June during a raid of his office by Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents as a part of a Federal sting operation aimed at Long Island doctors illegally distributing painkillers; the DEA operation nabbed a total of 98 arrests in an effort to crack down on the ongoing painkiller abuse epidemic sweeping across New York, authorities said.
Conway issued 5,554 oxycodone prescriptions, amounting to a total of 782,032 pills, to multiple people between January 2009 and November 2011. Giovanni Manzella, 34, and Christopher Basmas, 29, both patients of Conway’s, died in 2011 within days of being fraudulently prescribed with oxycodone by the doctor, according to authorities.
Conway pleaded guilty at Central Islip federal court on Thursday to conspiracy and distribution of oxycodone, and gave up his license to practice medicine at a hearing attended by several relatives of the overdose victims. By pleading guilty, Conway will be serving a sentence of 23 years; he will be over 90 years-old when he is eventually paroled, according to reports.
Conway’s former office assistant, Robert Hachemeister was also arrested as part of the DEA sting operation. Hachemeister, who does not have a nursing or medical degree, distributed oxycodone pills for Conway using pre-signed prescription pads and pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in January; he is currently awaiting sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Conway has been in custody since his arrest last June. His guilty plea means that he will serve twenty-years and will be released from prison when he is 90-years-old.