Lawyer: Accused doctor wants to get back to work

pkg doctor hires hit men to kill rival doctor_00001415
pkg doctor hires hit men to kill rival doctor_00001415


    Did doctor hire hit men to kill rival doctor?


Did doctor hire hit men to kill rival doctor? 01:30

Story highlights

  • A lawyer for Dr. Anthony Moschetto says the charges against him are baseless
  • Moschetto, 54, was arrested for selling drugs and weapons, prosecutors say
  • Authorities allege Moschetto hired accomplices to burn down the practice of former associate

(CNN)The attorney for a suburban New York cardiologist charged in what authorities say was a failed scheme to have another physician hurt or killed is calling the allegations against his client "completely unsubstantiated."

Appearing Saturday morning on CNN's "New Day," Randy Zelin defended his client, Dr. Anthony Moschetto, who faces criminal solicitation, conspiracy, burglary, arson, criminal prescription sale and weapons charges in connection to what prosecutors called a plot to take out a rival doctor on Long Island.
"None of anything in this case has any evidentiary value," Zelin told CNN's Christi Paul. "It doesn't matter what anyone says, he is presumed to be innocent."
    Moschetto,54, pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday. He was released after posting $2 million bond and surrendering his passport.
    Zelin said that his next move is to get Dr. Moshetto back to work.
    "He's got patients to see. This man, while he was in a detention cell, the only thing that he cared about were his patients. And amazingly, his patients were flooding the office with calls, making sure that he was OK," Zelin said.
    Two other men -- identified as James Chmela, 43, and James Kalamaras, 41 -- were named as accomplices, according to prosecutors.
    They pleaded not guilty in Nassau County District Court, according to authorities. Both were released on bail.
    A requests for comment from an attorney representing Chmela was not returned. It's unclear whether Kalamaras has retained an attorney.
    Police officers allegedly discovered approximately 100 weapons at Moschetto's home, including hand grenades, high-capacity magazines and knives. Many of the weapons were found in a hidden room behind a switch-activated bookshelf, according to prosecutors.
    The investigation began back in December, when undercover officers began buying heroin and oxycodone pills from Moschetto in what was initially a routine investigation into the sale of prescription drugs, officials said.
    During the course of the undercover operation, however, Moschetto also sold the officers two semiautomatic assault weapons as well as ammunition, prosecutors said.
    Moschetto allegedly told officers during one buy that he needed dynamite to "blow up a building." He later said he no longer needed the dynamite because a friend was setting fire to the building instead. Kalamaras and Chmela are believed to have taken part in the arson, according to prosecutors.
    "The fire damaged but did not destroy the office of another cardiologist whose relationship with Dr. Moschetto had soured due to a professional dispute," according to the statement from the district attorney's office.
    Moschetto allegedly gave an informant and undercover detective blank prescriptions and cash for the assault and killing of the fellow cardiologist, according to prosecutors. He also requested that the rival's wife be assaulted if she happened to be present, authorities said.
    "He was willing to pay $5,000 to have him beaten and put in a hospital for a few months, and then he said he would pay $20,000 to have him killed," said Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly, according to CNN affiliate WCBS.