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"Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis, running for office in NYC, charged with selling prescription painkillers

Kristin Davis Kristin Davis

(CBS) NEW YORK - Kristin Davis, a candidate for New York City Comptroller known as the "Manhattan Madam" for a prior prostitution conviction, has been arrested on charges of selling prescription painkillers, authorities announced Tuesday afternoon.

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According to federal officials, Davis sold hundreds of pills, including oxycodone, for cash.

Davis, 38, is charged with four counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance, CBS New York reports. Each count reportedly carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

"As alleged, Kristin Davis sold prescription pills not once, but rather four different times in four months to an FBI cooperating witness. This type of criminal activity is illegal for citizens, and is especially unbecoming for a person seeking public office in the City of New York," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said in a statement.

Authorities say Davis sold drugs to a cooperating witness who was wearing a wire between January and April of this year. She was arrested Monday, the CBS New York reports.

"As alleged, Kristin Davis sold dangerous and highly-addictive prescription pills to a known drug dealer on repeated occasions in exchange for cash. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in this country, resulting in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, and this Office has a zero tolerance policy towards anyone who helps to spread this plague at any level," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Davis had previously admitted to providing former Governor Elliot Spitzer with prostitutes, a claim he denies. Spitzer is also running for comptroller.

Davis previously served four months in jail for promoting prostitution.

She is scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court later Tuesday.

Complete coverage of Kristin Davis on Crimesider

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