Two weeks ago, [Richard Paey] risked a trial and lost. A jury convicted him of eight counts of trafficking in oxycodone. Equally significant was that Paey had obtained more than 28 grams of the oxycodone pills illegally. That pushed him into the toughest category of Florida's minimum mandatory sentencing laws for drug trafficking.
His New Jersey doctor, Steven Nurkiewicz, had given Paey several undated prescriptions. Those, plus a copy machine, provided Paey with an endless supply of fraudulent prescriptions, prosecutors said.
Investigators from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration started tailing Paey in late 1996. Over a three-month period, they watched Paey, always in a wheelchair, enter one pharmacy after another. During that period, investigators said, Paey used fraudulent prescriptions to obtain 800 pills of Percocet, a painkiller made with oxycodone.