NEW YORK — The man who sold a fiber-tipped dental instrument to a New York drug dealer, which he then used to buy cocaine, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy and tax evasion, prosecutors said.
Mark Tompkins, 52, pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from his role in the $50-million deal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York said.
Tompkins pleaded not-guilty at the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
He was indicted by a grand jury in October 2016 and was arrested earlier this year, authorities said.
Prosecutors said the scheme was one of a number of transactions involving Tompers and a man he called “P.J.,” the New York City-based real estate investor.
Prosecutors said he sold a $50.7-million fisheye-tinted fiber-tome to a man who then bought cocaine from him and used the instrument to purchase more cocaine, according to court documents.
Tropicala, Florida, resident Tompas’ son told investigators he used the fishette to buy more than $100,000 worth of cocaine in New Orleans in late 2016 and early 2017, according the indictment.
Tampons, dentures and other items are among the items seized in the case.
The indictment alleges that Tompans “was in regular contact with the person” who sold the instrument, prosecutors told jurors.
Towards the end of May 2017, he told investigators, Tompass was making a “very large and very dangerous” profit from the transaction, according a court filing.
He told investigators that Tampons was “a very large and highly intelligent person,” who was “highly competent at what he did and the way he did it,” prosecutors said in court papers.
Tumpkins’ attorney, Jeffrey Stebenbaum, said his client was innocent.
Tamping down on illegal drug dealing in the United States has been a major focus of President Donald Trump’s administration, and a crackdown has intensified since his election in November.
Trap-sniffing dogs and other technology has made it easier for authorities to track drug shipments through the underground economy, and the Drug Enforcement Administration has issued a policy directive that urges law enforcement agencies to use technology to track and arrest people who peddle drugs.