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Nurse practitioner charged with illegal drug distribution

Christopher Viagrande, a 41-year-old nurse practitioner from Latham, New York, has been arrested on charges of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, specifically amphetamines, without a legitimate medical purpose. United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III announced the charges, emphasizing that the prescriptions were issued to an individual who was not Viagrande’s patient over a period from May 2021 to December 2023. While the charges are currently accusations, Viagrande’s legal presumption of innocence remains until proven otherwise.

Following his arrest, Viagrande was released under specific conditions, including a ban on prescribing controlled substances. The potential consequences if convicted include up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, and three years of supervised release, highlighting the severity of the charges against him. The case reflects ongoing efforts to address and penalize unlawful practices in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.

The DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad, alongside investigators from the New York State Department of Health, is conducting the investigation into Viagrande’s actions and his practice, Crossroads Psychiatry NP. The public is encouraged to come forward with any relevant information about Viagrande’s activities, underlining the community’s role in supporting the enforcement of drug distribution laws and ensuring healthcare integrity.

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