Cardiologist Anthony Moschetto may not be the type of doctor you want operating on your heart. If what he did to a rival doctor — according to prosecutors — is any indication, he may not have one himself.
Moschetto, 54, was busted Tuesday and charged with a laundry list of shocking offenses that sound like they came right out of The Sopranos — rather than from someone who's supposed to save the lives of his fellow human beings.
When they arrested him, police searched Moschetto's home in a ritzy neighborhood of Sands Point on New York's Long Island and found an arsenal of about 100 weapons, many hidden in a secret basement room behind a motorized sliding bookcase, according to a report in the Long Island newspaper Newsday.
But in perhaps the most stunning of the accusations, prosecutors say that Moschetto hired a hitman to rub out a rival doctor, Moschetto's own former boss, so Moschetto could take over the man's medical practice.
The rival doctor had previously objected to Moschetto's alleged overprescribing of the powerful drug oxycodone, according to prosecutors.
Far from a compassionate cardiologist, police said, Moschetto is a "monster."
"Dr. Moschetto is a hidden monster living in the North Shore area who has no respect for law and life," Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Wednesday.
Moschetto was willing to pay the hit man $5,000 to physically beat the rival doctor badly enough to put him in the hospital for "a couple of months," Nassau County Prosecutor Anne Donnelly said.
But the cardiologist's offer went up to $20,000 if the hit man actually killed the other heart physician.
Fortunately for Moschetto's rival, the paid killer turned out to be an undercover cop who was part of a four-month probe of Moschetto for alleged illegal oxycodone sales.
Cops got the tip from another investigation they were running into illegal street sales of the drug. In the course of conducting business with a known drug dealer, the dealer asked undercover investigators if they knew where to purchase explosives to "blow up a building."
Following that tantalizing lead, the investigators learned that two men — 41-year-old James Kalamaras and James Chmela, 43 — had been hired by Moschetto to set fire to the rival doctor's office.
They attempted to do exactly that in February, but a sprinkler system quenched the blaze before it could cause significant damage, the prosecutors say.
Moschetto pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday and was released on $2 million bond.
Among the arsenal uncovered in the home of the accused cardiologist were an Uzi submachine gun, a hand grenade, and several battle axes. The prosecutors said that he was willing to make the weapons, as well as his blank prescription pad in addition to cash, available to the men he hired to attack the rival doctor.
[Image: Nassau County Police Department]