Local Pharmacist Charged With Selling Drugs Without Prescriptions

Federal agents took Leonard 'Lenny' Stefanelli of West Orange Pharmacy into custody on Monday.


A West Orange pharmacist has been arrested and charged for selling oxycodone to those without a prescription, according to authorities. 

Leonard “Lenny” Stefanelli, 48, of East Hanover, is part-owner and head pharmacist of the West Orange Pharmacy Inc., at 443 Main St. He was arrested Monday by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. 

Stefanelli is being charged by the US Attorney’s Office. Stefanelli made bail on Monday, but no date has been set for his arraignment, said Matthew Reilly, spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. 

Agents from the federal agency could be seen at the pharmacy on Monday morning and afternoon taking boxes in and out of the store. Both the federal agency and West Orange police had the pharmacy closed during that time. 

Stefanelli reportedly sold oxycodone to “confidential sources" on six separate occasions between Feb. 1 and Aug. 6, 2012, according to a criminal complaint issued in Newark by the US District Court on Sept. 7.

In one instance around Feb. 8, a source bought OxyCotin from Stefanelli in two 200-count tablet bottles for $1,800. The source did not have a prescription, nor did Stefanelli ask for one. 

Oxycodone is a synthetic opiate similar to morphine, but twice as potent, according to the complaint. It also has a high risk of being abused. The drug is used in OxyCotin, which is manufactured by Purdue Pharma. 

Calls for comment to the pharmacy were denied. The pharmacy is currently still open. 

Ryan September 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I don't think wohopeful knows what "unprecedented" means. In recent memory crime in WO was much higher than it is today.
denise September 12, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Wow, can't believe the blindness of some people, this person is a drug dealer plain and simple and he is a contributor to the crime in west orange. Is that hard to understand, could it be color?
EPK September 12, 2012 at 01:07 PM
wohopeful- change your screen name because you hold no hope for this town and I agree you should move out of this town. Good luck finding a crime free town
Lori September 12, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I would guess that with a federal investigation, you can't just 'conveniently' close down a business (pharmacy included) to collect evidence. Unfortunately, when a business owner (or it's employee's) participate in illegal activity (which is apparently what Lenny was doing), the loyal patron's can end up dealing with stress and medical problems because of it. Call it what you want, good vs. bad, legal vs. illegal. One thing I do know is that greed can bring even a 'good' person down FAST! Just saying.
Brett Kaiser September 12, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Hillbilly Heroin? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxycodone
Brett Kaiser September 12, 2012 at 03:29 PM
FYI..They (it) Don't (Doesn't) live in West Orange....
David Peart September 12, 2012 at 03:40 PM
What the article says is that "fact" is contained in the governments complaint. Not that I'm defending the reporting, but I seriously doubt that the reporter of this article would even know to question the alleged technical expertise contained in an affidavit of a Special Agent for the DEA. I've read that document as it was written, and the reporter is simply quoting what is contained in the special agent's formal complaint. The only discrepancy between what the agent wrote and what you dispute, is the potency claim.
TJB September 12, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Tj Bradley There's only one perfect being . " Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone" Hang in there Lenny ....
Lori September 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM
TJB, your right no one is perfect, however no one is trying to put this man to death by stoning him either. We all reap what we sow.
Samantha September 12, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I bet the dea wont bust the cartels but will bother a independent pharmacy just trying to survive .... Lenny is a wonderful person and did more good then bad he helped allot of customers I will pray for him and his family
Debra Mapson September 12, 2012 at 05:15 PM
It's about time they got him! He has been doing this for years. I'm wondering why they have not arrested all the pharmacists and "Techs"??
john September 12, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Maybe you should let law enforcement decide who should be arrested for conducting illegal activities out of the store. I personally know one employee and he's a good decent person who had no knowledge of the drug dealing(if it's true) and in no way participated so please don't cast stones at innocent people. And to answer your question... because not ALL pharmacists and techs commited a crime.
Brett Kaiser September 12, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I wonder what the strength was? 1800 for 400 pills? whoa....
Mike D'Onofrio (Editor) September 12, 2012 at 06:55 PM
@ Brett Kaiser: In the complaint it is stated that the "source" reportedly bought from Stefanelli 100 30-mg tablets of OxyContin, and 100 15-mg tablets of OxyContin on Feb. 8.
precious pisces September 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM
He broke the law and should suffer the consequences just like every other criminal!!
donna September 13, 2012 at 03:31 AM
I agree. Nobody's perfect and we should NEVER believe all of what we read. Things are always soooo exzadurated and blown out of proportion. Tho be it may, this family has extended themselves tremendously for others in need as i have seen first hand and I could'nt imanging this being true.. My prayers go out to them.
Smith September 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Have to agree with precious pisces and denise. The law was broken, you did an illegal thing & got caught. Now it's time to pay the consequence.
Yambag September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM
A great guy? would you say that if your spouse or one of your children became addicted to or worse yet overdosed and died from the pills that he was selling illegally? Lenny has proven himself to be a scumbag who deserves everything he gets from the justice system
Patti s September 13, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Used to go there for rxs.. stopped because of Lenny. he used to talk about customers out in the open ESP those who got controlled substances. He was.very unprofessional . This does not suprisee at all. He needs to pay for this. While he was enjoying the good life all this time, who knows how many deaths he contributed to by illegally selling oxy. Now Bill and Bob have to try.to keep the place afloat and clean up his mess. SHAME ON U LENNY!!!!
sabrina September 14, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Hardworking, empathetic law abiding business owner and professional who provided legitimate, kindly service in a low-income and annually more crime ridden neighborhood for years. What happened to innocent before PROVEN guilty? Whether desperate times caused desperate, irrational illegal acts remains to be proven. Temper your harsh judgements with some appreciation, loyalty and mercy to someone who served the patrons of West Orange for years.
L.Muldoon September 14, 2012 at 01:22 PM
This is no surprise! It was just a matter of time before WO Pharmacy imploded. All the "mistakes" they made, no checks & balances or signing out prescriptions -- including narcotics -- giving the WRONG drugs to customers, etc.. I've experienced it all & more in the years I've gone there. If it wasn't this that brought WO Pharmacy down, it would've been something else. I went there out of loyalty and because it was convenient (plus I liked George & the ladies & BIll & Bob..) But the saddest part about it is the fact that for all the stupid things they did there, they did a lot of good for the elderly & indigent community. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is a slippery slope, and once you start w/ giving away a little blood pressure medication under the table, then it's a few of the purple pills that the insurance companie's won't approve, and before you know it you're making an excuse for selling narcotics illegaly. Selling these types of drugs without a prescription is BAD AND ILLEGAL. It's not helping anyone, and causes alot of harm to the community. If Lenny was stupid enough to believe he was doing something good, then they are better off without him at the helm. Unfortunately, like all drug dealers, everyone else has to go down with the ship. It's very sad.
Dina September 14, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Lenny is a good man, as is Bill & Bob and George and the ladies. I am praying for Lenny and his family and business.
sarah September 15, 2012 at 03:50 AM
you are in my prayers sarah verducci
Lynne September 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Are you kidding me.....like that really makes a difference. Get realy would ya.
jerri September 18, 2012 at 05:43 AM
I agree with Dina and hope Lenny will not be punished too harshly. I am sure he has learned his lesson
Alexandra DeRonde September 20, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Well I dont have more than good wishes for Lenny, Bill, Bob and the ladies there, everyone always being nothing but courteous and friendly to me and my family! not sure what are the circumstances or details and the true dont need to know them either. My prayers are with Lenny and the whole WO Pharmacy, my family's pharmacy. Alex DeRonde
Joe F September 23, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Samantha, leave your bubble already. Maybe you should try paying attention to national news. Once you get a hang of that, try international news. DEA are unsung heros protecting you and your family from the likes of Lenny. Nice guys are able to do bad things. Here's one that was finally caught. Thank you DEA.
Jerry Jammer December 01, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Not believing what you read may have merit sometimes.Naive is what is happening here.Like the other comment "for years" is very true.The so called helped "patrons" have been conned.My mother repeatedly was short on here pain meds from this Drug store every month. when we complained the next month her pills did not work.He is a professional who to an oath.every pill is counted.FYI to pull off this he needed to account for every single pill he sold illegally had to come from somewhere .from shorting his "patron' or bogus pills.Stone throwers? He put his hand down and took an Oath? Perjury.Tax & insurance fraud ,Theft ,drug dealing because he can't compete with CVS.Killing our kids and he a nice guy?No moral fiber None ..better check yourself.I would dig holes to feed my kids before anything this evil.Sick defenders
Jerry Jammer December 01, 2012 at 09:27 PM
As i commented before you all have been conned. EVERY pill has to be accounted for to do this he was short on every pain pill he sold to his "patron" .I caught him doing that to me after when I had surgery.I counted the pills twice in front of him and both times they where short. same thing to my mother. You simply can not just sell them.again BY LAW every pill must be accounted for.How did he come up with 200? was this the 1st time? NO WAY .This was a pill scam for profit.You all where robbed and scammed by this criminal. Was all the pills he sold real? You have to ask yourself that.These pills ended up on the street and sold for 30 to 40$ a piece and by who? Boy Scouts? No gangs, yes street gangs.Did you pray for our kids? !st they get hooked on pills run out of money then start shooting the much cheaper dope. Yea I'll pray for you Lenny.I'll pray you get what you deserve
Charles Burns February 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Usually the ones who can make bail are the worst offenders. Wonder how he could afford to do that?


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