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Paterson Residents Charged in Opioid Distribution Conspiracy Involving Local Doctor


By: Richard L. Smith 

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger has announced the charges against two Paterson, New Jersey, residents, Jasmine McGregor, 32, and Jhanelle Lewis, 35, for conspiring with Dr. Lisa Ferraro of Hillsdale to illegally distribute opioids. Ad Both McGregor and Lewis faced separate complaints, each charged with conspiring to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, outside normal medical practices and without legitimate reasons.

The duo made their initial court appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark, III in Newark federal court, where they were each released on a $100,000 unsecured bond. 

Dr. Ferraro, charged with the same offense, was arrested earlier on October 3, 2023.

Court documents and statements reveal that from July 11, 2021, to October 3, 2023, in McGregor's case, and from May 11, 2021, to October 3, 2023, in Lewis's case, both defendants collaborated with Ferraro in a scheme to prescribe oxycodone to individuals who were not actual patients of Ferraro. Ad These individuals, including social acquaintances of McGregor and Lewis's incarcerated romantic partner, were never physically examined or questioned by Ferraro to validate a medical need for the drug.

During the conspiracy, Ferraro issued prescriptions totaling 630 20mg and 12,040 30mg oxycodone pills in connection with McGregor and 19,088 30mg pills in connection with Lewis. 

The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances carries a severe penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, highlighting the serious nature of the offense.