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Doctor sentenced for writing illegal prescriptions


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A northern New Jersey doctor convicted of writing illegal prescriptions that put tens of thousands of pills on the streets for resale has been sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison.

Michael Durante, an internal medicine specialist with offices in Nutley, also was ordered Tuesday to pay $629,461 in restitution. The 59-year-old Montclair resident also will have to serve three years of supervised release once he’s freed.

Durante was convicted on 16 of the 17 counts he faced, including charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and unlawful distribution of the drug.

Federal prosecutors say that between July 2009 and March 2011, Durante sold prescriptions for more than 80,000 oxycodone pills to patients who were engaged in drug trafficking.