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this prosecution is the first of its kind the US government Tuesday it filed the first criminal charges against a large scale drug distributors and company executives over their alleged roles in fueling the opioid epidemic to resolve the charges Rochester drug cooperative or R. D. C. will pay twenty million dollars and enter into a deferred prosecution agreements according to the government when others said no to suspicious orders for opioids RDCs stepped in D. a special agent ray Donovan what we realized through the course of our investigation is that many of the pharmacies that were in illicit or complicity matter would be cut off by other distributors and they would go towards RTC where RTC with and %HESITATION very happily start providing %HESITATION the opiates to them former Rochester drug CEO Lawrence Dowd who led the company for twenty five years was charged with conspiring to distribute illegal narcotics and conspiring to defraud the United States his lawyer said he plans to plead not guilty our office will do everything in its power to bring to justice anyone responsible for unlawfully fueling this opioid epidemic and that includes executives who illegally distribute drugs from their board rooms according to government officials are DC filled more than one point five million orders for controlled substances from two thousand twelve to two thousand sixteen but it allegedly only reported four suspicious orders to the D. E. A. the case marks a new US effort to curtail the opioid epidemic , according to the U. S. centers for disease control and prevention opioids including prescription pain killers and heroine played a role in a record forty seven thousand six hundred US desks in twenty seventeen