NJ Doctor Who Called Himself ‘Candy Man’ and ‘El Chapo’ Headed to Prison
A New Jersey doctor who called himself the "Candy Man" admitted to writing on-demand prescriptions for painkillers and falsifying records.
Robert Delagente, 45, of Oakland, was a doctor at a practice called North Jersey Family Medicine in Oakland, where he accepted requests for drugs such as oxycodone, Percocet, Tylenol with codeine, and various benzodiazepines (alprazolam, diazepam, clonazepam, and temazepam) via text, according to court documents in the case
He did not screen his patients for addictions or have them come in for an office visit, according to court documents.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Delagente's other nickname was the “El Chapo of Opioids," referring to Mexican drug kingpin and escape artist Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was sentenced to life in prison after his 2019 trial on on drug-trafficking charges.
Delagente also was charged with altering medical records of patients who received prescriptions from him after law enforcement officials had subpoenaed the records in April.
The doctor would also prescribe pills for patients he knew were addicted to opioids or other controlled substances,
“Dr. Delagente sold his ethics, his medical license, and his moral compass,” FBI-Newark Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said. “There is no magic elixir for the pain caused by pill mill doctors. The cure is public awareness, victims who come forward and a determined fleet of FBI investigators who will arrest these unscrupulous practitioners when they run afoul of the law.”
Delagente was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances, three counts of distribution of controlled dangerous substances, and one count of falsifying medical records.
Sentencing for Delagente is scheduled for June 10. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each of the distribution of controlled dangerous substances charges. He also faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the charge of falsifying medical records.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.