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The alleged mastermind of a million-dollar prescription drug ring fooled everyone about the Adderall and OxyContin supply line that law enforcement officials say he was running out of his quiet Carroll Street condo.
Cops this week collared Pinchas Goldshtein, charging him with conspiracy and criminal sale of a controlled substance stemming from his distribution of thousands of pills that he received in the mail from two suppliers in California and distributing to New York dealers.
But even an employee at the post box center where Goldshtein allegedly picked up the supplies didn’t know what was going on.
“He told us he was getting electronics!” exclaimed Joel, an employee at the Active Transport postal service on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, a few blocks from Goldshtein’s apartment.
“We’d call him to pick up an envelope around 10:30 am and he’d come in sometime in the afternoon looking real sleepy. He was here three or four times a month.” The store, between First and Second streets, has not been accused of being involved in what has been called the city’s biggest illegal prescription drug ring — though it certainly profited from it.
“He was a big tipper,” Joel added. Goldshtein’s neighbors on the tree-lined blocked between Fourth and Fifth avenues were also pretty surprised after hearing that their street apparently harbored a drug kingpin. “It’s startling to know that something like this can go on right under your nose,” said Paul Basile, who lives in the building next door to Goldshtein’s. “I didn’t notice any trafficking going on, but I did see [Goldshtein] from time to time. He’s only lived here about six months and was usually wearing sunglasses.” Goldshtein was arrested along with two California men who allegedly supplied the drugs in bulk, and three alleged street-level dealers.
The local pushers sold mostly to students and yuppies who often heard about the pills through Craigslist ads, according to Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes. One of the supposed dealers, 23-year-old Henry Fertik, lives in a well-kept brownstone on 12th Street in Park Slope.
His neighbors were equally stunned.
If convicted, Goldshtein faces up to 25 years in prison. His lawyer declined to comment on the case, and Goldshtein, Fertik and Fertik’s lawyer could not be reached for comment. But Hynes was more than happy to fill in the blanks.
“The criminal enterprise does not produce dirty needles or crack pies or addicts lying wasted in alleys and doorways, but it is nonetheless a very serious threat,” said Hynes. “These young people are abusing pharmaceuticals … and they are as addicted and often as at risk, as anyone pumping heroin into a vein.”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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