A drug bust on Staten Island has resulted in ten arrests, among them five doctors, three medical assistants and a pharmacist, according to state police. New York authorities conducted a sting operation after an investigation led them to believe that pain medication was being illegally prescribed by these individuals. All of those arrested now face serious drug crime charges and each could face jail time if found guilty.
The details of the operation were limited in this report. However, it has been confirmed that authorities were tracking the spread of drugs like oxycodone, the popular opiate used to treat pain in patients. It is known to be highly addictive, and oxycodone is often in the news as one of the major drugs contributing to the so-called “opiate crisis” in the mid-United States.
The doctors and assistants that were charged in this investigation are believed to have prescribed, or facilitated the prescription, of millions of pills that were not medically necessary. They are believed to have far outstripped the medication paid for by Medicare, electing instead to prescribe the pills in exchange for cash. One doctor and assistant alone are believed to have laundered some $5 million in cash payments for the drug.
This type of drug crime is made even more serious by the fact that those accused of precipitating it are medical professionals. Of course, this means the stakes for their trials are even higher, as a guilty verdict could lead not only to jail time, but also to the loss of their medical licenses. Before a conviction can be obtained, New York prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that each party was complicit in these alleged crimes. Each individual will likely be represented by a criminal defense attorney who will work with them to build a strong defense against these charges.