A pharmacy owner in Queens is facing charges for allegedly arranging to have cocaine sent to the home of a DEA agent who was investigating his business.
Queens resident Dimitrios Lymberatos, 34, turned himself in to the DEA on Friday, Oct. 9 and is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court this afternoon on charges that include obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said that in November last year, a DEA Diversion Investigator conducted a regulatory into Lymberatos’ Queens pharmacy, which delayed the issuance of its registration to dispense controlled substances.
It is alleged that Lymberatos responded to the investigation by taking steps to obstruct the investigation, including hiring a private investigator to obtain the DEA agent’s home address, and then mailing him a greeting card that contained a white powdery substance later identified as cocaine.
Strauss said that the Diversion Investigator was hospitalized for a toxicology screening as a result of the suspicious package.
Prosecutors allege that Lymberatos caused the package to be sent in an effort to interfere and obstruct the investigation into the pharmacy by threatening the investigator, “deliberately causing the Diversion Investigator to fear for her physical safety,” Strauss added, "and seeking to create trouble for the Diversion Investigator by causing her to come into possession of an illegal controlled substance.”
“When Dimitrios Lymberatos learned his pharmacy was under investigation by the DEA, he allegedly took sinister action against a Diversion Investigator assigned to his case,” Strauss said. “Lymberatos allegedly sought to interfere with the investigation through intimidation, by sending cocaine to the Investigator’s home, potentially causing physical harm.
“Lymberatos’s misguided message was received loud and clear – and he now faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term for his potentially harmful attempt to obstruct law enforcement.”
If convicted, Lymberatos faces up to 20 years in prison. No return court date has been announced.
“Today’s arrest is another example to the public that DEA Registrants can set out to do harm with ill intent,” DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Raymond Donovan added in a statement.
“One of our own Diversion Investigators was allegedly targeted simply for doing their job, and as such, Mr. Lymberatos’s alleged actions as a pharmacist and licensed professional were completely unconscionable.”
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