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Byline: Ashanti M. Alvarez
Jul. 6--In the first case of its kind in North Jersey, authorities have accused two employees of the manufacturer of OxyContin of possessing a cache of the powerful painkiller, which is becoming increasingly popular on the black market because of its heroin-like effects.
Kevin Payne, 30, of West Paterson and Wayne Bullock, 35, of Paterson work for PF Laboratories in Totowa, which is the manufacturing arm of Purdue Pharma, the company that developed and patented OxyContin.
The arrests come as Purdue Pharma is battling several lawsuits alleging that overprescription of OxyContin has led to crime, addiction, and death.
"At this point, all I can say is that we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation," said Jim Heins of Purdue Pharma, which is based in Stamford, Conn. "I have to refer all questions to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office."
Senior Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Salvatore Bellomo would not say where authorities believe the men got the prescription …