Delaware Pharmacist Gets 20 Years in Prison - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Pharmacist Gets 20 Years in Prison

(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP)- A former Claymont pharmacist who illegally distributed 45,000 Oxycodone pain pills was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Thursday after tearfully asking his family and court officials for forgiveness.
Bruce E. Costa Jr., 37, wept as he described how greed, pride and arrogance led him down a destructive path of drug dealing, addiction and lying, and how his wife and three children have suffered.
"They're punished, and they don't deserve it, all because of my greed and my stupidity," the former owner of Renaissance Family Pharmacy told U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark.
"I can't take back what I did," Costa said. "If I could change a million things, I would."
While recognizing the effect that a long prison sentence will have on Costa's family, Stark said he could not overlook the seriousness of the criminal behavior, distributing massive amounts of the highest-dose Oxycodone pill available and obstructing justice by trying to cover up his crimes.
"He was, by far, the largest distributor of Oxycodone in Delaware," the judge noted. "... This is serious, indeed egregious, criminal conduct."
Costa was convicted last year on three counts of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone and one count of maintaining a premises to distribute the drug. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years on each count.
Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 24 years, saying Costa had sold drugs over several months and lied about the scope of his crimes and his financial assets. They also noted that Costa had pleaded no contest in 2008 to five Medicaid-related fraud charges involving false prescriptions.
"Mr. Costa has exhibited continually a very troubling relationship with the truth," said Stark, who added that the sentence was meant as a deterrent for others responsible for preventing the illegal use and abuse of prescription drugs.
"Others need to know that they can't be tempted by greed and arrogance and ego as, unfortunately, Mr. Costa was," Stark said.
Costa's wife wept as Stark sentenced her husband to two decades behind bars and ordered him to pay a $100,000 fine.
Before sentencing Costa, Stark signed an agreement with prosecutors in which Costa and his wife agreed to forfeit almost $2.5 million to the government, including an estimated $810,000 from illegal drug sales and their interests in Renaissance Family Pharmacy. Prosecutors say investigators found $1.2 million stashed at Costa's mother's house in Pennsylvania and another $164,000 at his home.


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