New York pharmacist sent DEA agent cocaine card: officials

A New York City pharmacist thought sending a greeting card with cocaine to a DEA agent could throw off an investigation of his store, officials say.

His plan didn’t work out.

Dimitrios Lymberatos, 34, is charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.

Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration began a regulatory investigation of the pharmacy in Queens after its application was flagged for incomplete information about the owner, according to court documents.

The investigation substantially delayed the pharmacy from dispensing controlled substances, including in-person interviews with the operators and subpoenas. That was hurting the business financially, officials say.

In May, the investigator opened a card sent to her home and found several small packets with a white powdery substance later determined to be cocaine. The investigator immediately notified colleagues at the DEA.

According to court documents, investigators learned that Lymberatos hired a private investigators to learn the agent’s home address and frequently checked the status a letter mailed from California to her home in the New York City area.

Lymberatos hoped to land the DEA agent in trouble for possessing an illegal drug, officials say.

“Lymberatos allegedly sought to interfere with the investigation through intimidation, by sending cocaine to the investigator’s home, potentially causing physical harm,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a news release. “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.”

Lymberatos could go to prison for up to 20 years for each charge, officials say.

Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.

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