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Physician Charged with Oxycodone Sales

A popular New York physician once hailed for bringing better healthcare to impoverished Latino populations is facing drug charges in connection with an alleged smuggling ring for Oxycodone. The doctor is accused of selling prescriptions to as many as 100 people on a regular basis, according to official reports. Authorities said the man may have netted as much as $10 million in connection with the alleged distribution efforts.

Investigators said the supposed drug ring spanned a four-state area and involved scores of participants. About 500,000 Oxycodone pills were moved during the 18-month lifetime of the operation. Those pills were distributed using 4,500 prescriptions written by doctors at the Itzamna Medical Center in Manhattan. Oxycodone, a high-level painkiller, is known to be highly addictive.

The physician and his partner were both arrested in connection with the plot. The two were, surprisingly, apparently unaware of each other's activities. A whopping 47 other people in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were also brought in on drug charges because of the bust. More than 30 weapons were also seized during the raid.

Authorities said they were tipped off to the man's activities after a suspicious death in 2011. A bottle of pills was found near the body of a man who died from an overdose; the physician's name was printed on the prescription bottle.

The physician and his partner have been officially charged with selling the prescriptions for $125 each. A shocking 28 prescriptions were allegedly sold to an undercover police officer, according to investigators.

In this case, authorities have amassed a significant amount of evidence against the physician and his partner. It is possible that the pair could consider pleading guilty to the drug charges in exchange for a reduced sentence or even the dismissal of some related charges. Defendants in criminal cases should consult their qualified defense attorney before entering any formal pleas.

Source: New York Daily News, "Dr. Hector Castro, champion of Latino healthcare, busted for slinging $10 million worth of Oxycodone," Christina Boyle & Dixon Kavanaugh, March 29, 2013

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