Long Island Doctor Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Illegally Prescribe Oxycodone
Former Health Minister of Guyana Sold Oxycodone Prescriptions for Cash
Noel Blackman, a medical doctor and the former Health Minister of Guyana, who operated from “pain management” clinics in Elmhurst in Queens County, Franklin Square in Nassau County, and Cypress Hills in Brooklyn, today pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone, a highly addictive prescription pain medication. The guilty plea was entered before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert at the U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip. When sentenced, Blackman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
In announcing the guilty plea, United States Attorney Robert L. Capers expressed his grateful appreciation to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad, which led the government’s investigation in this case, and thanked the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) for its assistance.
“Blackman violated his professional oath to put his patients’ legitimate medical needs first and instead chose to line his pockets with the proceeds from the sale of illegal prescriptions for oxycodone, a highly addictive drug that has been linked to the rise in heroin trafficking and other social ills in our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Capers. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to vigorously prosecute illegal prescription drug distribution.”
According to court filings and statements made in court during the guilty plea, between 2015 and February 2016, Blackman wrote prescriptions for more than 365,000 oxycodone pills. Around midnight on February 7, 2016, HSI agents removed Blackman from a plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Guyana and arrested him in connection with the conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone. At the time of his arrest, more than $30,000 was found concealed in Blackman’s luggage. At his guilty plea, Blackman admitted that he wrote oxycodone prescriptions for persons whom he knew had no legitimate medical need for them in exchange for cash. As part of his guilty plea, Blackman also agreed to forfeit $503,200 attributable to illegal prescription sales.
This case is but one in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office as part of the Prescription Drug Initiative. In January 2012, this Office, in conjunction with the five District Attorneys in the Eastern District of New York, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, the New York City Police Department, and New York State Police, along with 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 Prevention has called an epidemic increase in the abuse of 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 a 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 prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley T. King and Madeline O’Connor.
Valley Stream, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-89 (JS)