The scourge of prescription narcotics in area communities took a hit last week when police nabbed an Ozone Park man for illegally possessing 1,385 tablets and pills following a long-term investigation, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
As of press time, George Kurz, 36, was still in custody on Rikers Island after being arraigned last Thursday on first-, second-, third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance charges. Bail was set at $50,000, and Kurz was ordered back to court on Dec. 4.
According to the charges, Kurz was observed by a police detective exiting his residence and entering his vehicle. As he started to drive away, the detective stopped Kurz’s vehicle and allegedly observed a small bag with what appeared to be pill bottles in it on the front seat. Kurz allegedly stated to the detective that his wallet was in the bag and that the detective should remove the wallet from the bag. It is alleged that inside the bag was Kurz’s wallet, a pill scraper with six blue oxycodone pills (30 milligrams) inside and two pill bottles—one containing 103 blue oxycodone pills (30 milligrams) and the other containing 14 green oxycodone pills with “80”(80 milligrams) stamped on them.
Later that day, a court-authorized search warrant was executed at Kurz’s residence and among the items allegedly seized were 402 blue oxycodone pills in various zip lock bags from an open safe in the basement and, from a dresser in the basement, a zip-lock bag containing 297 blue “M30” oxycodone pills, 107 blue “M30” oxycodone pills in a pill bottle, 171 green oxycodone pills in a white bottle, a zip lock bag containing 80 green oxycodone pills, a blue bottle containing 90 green oxycodone pills and a zip lock bag containing 38 yellow diazepam (Valium) pills. Additionally, a pill bottle containing 77 peach-colored oxycodone pills stamped with “E700” (5 milligrams of oxycodone and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen) was recovered from a cabinet in the kitchen, as well as a box of zip lock bags on a bedroom shelf consistent with those used for packaging oxycodone pills and $811 in cash that was found on Kurz’s person or in the residence.
“The drugs which the defendant is alleged to have trafficked in each have a street value of $20 to $25 a pill and are popular with club patrons despite the fact that they pose serious health risks,” Brown said. “We have seen a huge rise in the use and abuse of prescription painkillers. Drugs such as oxycodone are extremely potent and have a high potential for abuse and death. Shutting down sources such as alleged in this case will save lives.”
If convicted, Kurz faces up to 20 years in prison.
Long-term use of the oxycodone pills that Kurz was allegedly found to be in possession of can lead to heroin abuse. For the last three years, 2010 through 2013, the rate of heroin-involved overdose deaths increased in the Big Apple, according to a report released this summer by the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
By Michael V. Cusenza