James R. Cowen, NJ Psychiatrist, arrested for drug distribution

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Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
DOCTOR JAMES COWAN OF RIDGEWOOD ARRESTED FOR DRUG DISTRIBUTION
TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: PROSECUTOR GURBIR S. GREWAL
DATE: MARCH 1, 2017

Psychiatrist James R. Cowan

Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal announced the arrest of JAMES R. COWAN (DOB: 3/19/1944; widower; and formerly employed as a medical doctor) of 572 West Saddle River Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey for charges related to the distribution of controlled dangerous substances. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert ANZILOTTI, the Dumont Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael J. CONNER, the Ridgewood Police Department under the direction of Chief Jacqueline LUTHCKE, and the State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs & State Board of Medical Examiners under the direction of Attorney General Christopher S. PORRINO.

During the month of February 2016, law enforcement personnel initiated an investigation into the medical practice of Dr. James R. COWAN, a licensed Medical Doctor specializing in Psychiatry, located in his home office at 572 West Saddle River Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey.

During this investigation, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, in an undercover capacity, visited the office of Dr. COWAN, posing as new patients. During these office visits, the undercover officers received prescriptions for medications from Dr. COWAN in exchange for cash payments. The undercover detectives were not physically evaluated by Dr. COWAN or anyone else at his office, but instead were issued prescriptions for Xanax and Adderall.

During the month of March 2016, Dr. COWAN became medically ill, and was hospitalized for several months. While he was in the hospital, the investigation revealed that another individual, who was not licensed to prescribe medicine, continued to see patients and issue prescriptions to patients on New Jersey prescription blanks that were pre-signed by Dr. COWAN.

During the month of April 2016, while Dr. COWAN was hospitalized, a court-authorized search warrant was executed at the residence / office of Dr. James COWAN. During the execution of the search warrant, items including New Jersey prescription blanks, patient files, computers, and Controlled Dangerous Substances were located and seized, and office personnel were found to be in possession of numerous files for patients that were scheduled to come to the office throughout the week. It was learned that Dr. COWAN reviewed these patient files from a rehabilitation facility where he was located at the time. He then caused prescriptions to be issued to patients he did not examine for, among other things, Tylenol w/ Codeine, Adderall, Xanax, and Subutex to these patients. Additionally, while present in the rehabilitation facility, Dr. COWAN pre-signed numerous New Jersey prescription blanks.

During the month of May 2016, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Consumer Affairs & State Board of Medical Examiners suspended the medical license and Controlled Dangerous Substances registration for Dr. James R. COWAN.

On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Dr. James COWAN turned himself over to members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. He was charged with one count of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Xanax, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(13), a third degree crime; one count of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Adderall, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(13), a third degree crime; one count of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Prescription Legend Drug, namely Azithromycin, in an Amount of at Least Five (5) but Fewer than One Hundred (100) Dosage Units, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5(3), a third degree crime; one count of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Tylenol w/ Codeine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(13), a third degree crime; six counts of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Xanax, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(13), a third degree crime; six counts of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Adderall, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(13), a third degree crime; one count of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Subutex, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(13), a third degree crime; and one count of Knowingly or Purposely Distributing a Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Oxycodone, in an Aggregate Weight Exceeding One Ounce, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5B(4), a second degree crime.

After arrest processing, James COWAN was released pending a first appearance court date at Central Judicial Processing.

Bergen County Prosecutor Grewal states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and would also like to thank the Dumont Police Department, the Ridgewood Police Department, and the Division of Consumer Affairs & State Board of Medical Examiners for their assistance in this investigation.

James R. Cowen