New Jersey Veterinarian Gets Deferred Prosecution Deal In Federal Doping Case - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

New Jersey Veterinarian Gets Deferred Prosecution Deal In Federal Doping Case

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York has agreed to defer the prosecution of New Jersey-based veterinarian Rebecca Linke for two years, pending her adherence to a number of conditions that includes not practicing on race horses and relinquishing all racing licenses during the term of the agreement.

Linke, who worked for Colts Neck Equine Associates in Manalapan Township, N.J., was one of more than two dozen trainers, veterinarians and drug suppliers indicted in March 2020 on drug misbranding and adulteration after a lengthy, multi-state FBI probe. A number of defendants have since pleaded guilty, including Thoroughbred trainer Jorge Navarro, who was sentenced to five years in prison. Others who pleaded not guilty are awaiting trial.

Linke primarily practiced on Standardbreds and is alleged to have assisted trainer Nicholas Surick by supplying misbranded and adulterated performance-enhancing drugs and falsifying medical and pharmaceutical records to conceal Surick's activities.

In the deferred prosecution agreement, the U.S. attorney said  that “after a thorough investigation it has been determined that the interest of the United States and your (Linke's) interest will be best served by deferring prosecution. … Prosecution will be deferred during the term of your good behavior and satisfactory compliance with the terms of this agreement for the period of two years from the signing of this agreement.”

The agreement was signed by Linked on Dec. 18, 2021. Prosecutors said no further prosecution of Linke will be pursued and charges in the indictment dismissed if she complies with all the rules, regulations and special conditions of the agreement.

Among the conditions are: Linke shall refrain from violating any law and shall only associate with “law-abiding persons” and “avoid association with any member or employee of Colts Neck Equine.”

Linke also agreed to relinquish any state horse racing professional license and will not apply for any such licenses until the two-year period expires. She is also required to “refrain from the practice of veterinary medicine on horses involved, or intended to be involved, in pari-mutuel horse racing” for the period of compliance required.

She is also restricted from travel outside of certain areas without permission and is required to report to a U.S. Pretrial Services Officer as directed.

The special conditions to the agreement are:

“The U.S. attorney may at any time revoke or modify any condition of this provisional release or change the period of such supervision. The U.S. attorney may discharge you (Linke) from supervision at any time. The U.S. attorney may at any time proceed with the prosecution for this offense should the U.S. attorney, in his or her sole discretion, deem such action advisable.”

According to a Linked In page, Linke is a 2005 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania school of veterinary medicine after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from Cornell University in 2000. She worked at Chino Valley Equine Hospital as an intern in 2005-'06 and was associate veterinarian at Colts Neck Equine from June 2006 until the time of the indictment in March 2020.

Paulick Report Icon

Receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts, promotions, and much more!

Ask Ray?

Have a question for Ray that you'd like answered? Have a news tip? Ray will go to his network of sources in pursuit of an answer.

Ask Ray