Long Island Doctor Indicted for Illegal Distribution of Oxycodone
An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Tameshwar Ammar, a medical doctor in Roslyn, New York, with writing prescriptions for oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, without a legitimate medical purpose. Ammar was arrested this morning, and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, announced the indictment.
As set forth in the indictment and other court documents, between 2013 and 2019, Ammar illegally prescribed more than 19,000 highly addictive oxycodone pills to two individuals identified in the indictment as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2. According to a review of Ammar’s medical files for the two individuals, Ammar wrote the prescriptions without any diagnostic proof that either had a legitimate medical necessity. Ammar prescribed approximately 8,400 oxycodone pills to John Doe 1, knowing that he intended to sell the pills to others. Ammar prescribed 11,525 30 milligram oxycodone pills to John Doe 2. After learning that John Doe 2 had been admitted to a psychiatric facility in March 2018, Ammar continued to prescribe John Doe 2 with oxycodone and also prescribed methadone.
In July 2019, John Doe 2 died of a drug overdose caused by oxycodone, methadone and ketamine. A search warrant executed at Ammar’s office in October 2017 resulted in the recovery of ketamine.
“As alleged, Ammar prescribed thousands of highly addictive opioids without a legitimate medical purpose, which makes him a drug dealer and, sadly, in this case one of his customers lost their life,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office and our partners at the DEA are working tirelessly to combat the opioid epidemic on Long Island and elsewhere by prosecuting medical professionals who contribute to the crisis.” Mr. Donoghue also thanked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, New York Region, for their assistance during the investigation.
“The illegal and unethical way Dr. Ammar conducted his medical practice paved a way for patients’ opioid addiction and overdoses,” said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Donovan. “The fact that Dr. Ammar prescribed over 8,000 oxycodone pills to one patient for street resale shows his disregard to public health and safety, which are both a good doctor’s main concerns. I applaud the DEA Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for their diligent work.”
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Ammar faces up to 20 years in prison.
The government’s investigation was led by the DEA’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad, comprising agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), Suffolk County Police Department, Port Washington Police Department and Rockville Centre Police Department. The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad also worked in conjunction with officers and agents of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, and New York City Department of Investigation.
This case is the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York as part of the Prescription Drug Initiative. In January 2012, this Office and the DEA, in conjunction with the five District Attorneys in this district, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police and other key federal, state and local government partners launched the Initiative to mount a comprehensive response to what the United States Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Preventions called an epidemic increase in the abuse of so-called opioid analgesics. To date, the Initiative has brought over 160 federal and local criminal prosecutions, including the prosecution of 19 health care professionals; taken civil enforcement actions against a hospital, a pharmacy and pharmacy chain; removed prescription authority from numerous rogue doctors, and expanded information-sharing among enforcement agencies to better target and pursue drug traffickers. The Initiative also is involved in an extensive community outreach program to address the abuse of pharmaceuticals.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley T. King and Madeline O’Connor are in charge of the prosecution.
Amityville, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-516 (DRH)