Press Releases

Rockland County Psychiatrist Pleads Guilty In White Plains Federal Court To Illegal Distribution Of Seconal, A Schedule II Controlled Substance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday June 28, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DR. ARISIDE ESSER, M.D. pled guilty to an Information charging two counts of distributing and dispensing secobarbital, a Schedule II controlled substance that is commonly sold in a form known as “Seconal,” outside the scope of professional medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.  ESSER, who was arrested on November 18, 2011, based on a criminal complaint charging the same crime, pled guilty today in White Plains federal court before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.

According the Complaint and Information filed in White Plains federal court:

ESSER, 82, a medical doctor and board-certified psychiatrist who practiced in Rockland County, on two separate occasions in 2011 provided a cooperating witness with prescriptions for Seconal in names other than the name of that individual.  ESSER never performed an adequate medical examination of the individual, never conducted a psychiatric examination of the individual, and never provided any counseling services to the individual.  During one appointment, ESSER told the individual that he would “gladly medicate” the individual’s friends if they made appointments with him. 

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ESSER faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Karas on November 2, 2012, at 10 a.m.        

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and the Rockland County Narcotics Task Force.  He also thanked the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department, the Rockland County Intelligence Center, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, and the New York State Department of Health. 

The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Renzin is in charge of the prosecution.

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