Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of Terence J. O'Leary, until recently a prosecutor for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, to head the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE) within the New York State Department of Health. Mr. O'Leary will join the unit tomorrow.
"Crimes involving the illegal use and distribution of prescription drugs are a public health threat that demands the investigative and prosecutorial experience that Terence O'Leary brings to this position," Governor Cuomo said. "He has a proven track record in fighting illicit drug trafficking and an understanding of the need for new public health strategies to combat these crimes. He will be a tremendous asset to this administration."
In his position at the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Mr. O'Leary has supervised long-term investigations of narcotics trafficking organizations and money laundering operations, and coordinated multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions with federal, state, and international agencies.
In 2009, Mr. O'Leary's work was honored by the U.S. Federal Drug Agents Foundation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. He is a graduate of Loyola College in Maryland and Seton Hall University School of Law.
Bridget G. Brennan, Mr. O'Leary's supervisor and Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City, said, "Terry O'Leary is an extremely intelligent and experienced attorney with a strong background in investigative work. During his ten years at the Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office, most recently as senior investigative counsel, Terry followed the highest ethical standards and demonstrated true dedication and commitment to his work. We look forward to working with him in his new capacity."
The BNE is responsible for protecting the public health by identifying the illegal use and trafficking of prescription controlled substances and helping facilities and prescribers prevent the diversion of controlled substances. The BNE monitors and regulates controlled substances and conducts prescription drug abuse prevention efforts for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals.
Mr. O'Leary will be working to expand the stronger, more comprehensive approach to fighting theft of prescriptions that has been initiated in the Department of Health this year. These strategies will leverage the Department's expertise in analyzing and evaluating health care records and prescription data to identify crime and diversion of prescriptions, and to develop public health strategies to counter the growing availability of prescription drugs. The BNE also will strengthen its collaboration with government and private sector entities working to fight prescription drug abuse in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and pain management.
BNE provides more than 175 million secure Official New York State Prescriptions annually to over 95,000 prescribing practitioners across the State, which helps to ensure that written prescriptions are legitimate and can be tracked.