Queens Doctor Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Distribute Oxycodone
Doctor Continued To Write Prescriptions For Powerful Painkiller After Surrender Of His DEA Registration
Gracia L. Mayard, a Queens doctor, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone, a highly addictive prescription pain killer. Mayard entered his plea before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco at the United States Courthouse located in Central Islip, New York. At sentencing on February 27, 2015, Mayard faces a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York; Thomas C. Krumpter, Acting Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD); Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent, New York State Police (NYSP); and Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS).
“Dr. Mayard tried to evade prescription reporting requirements in order to provide vast quantitites of these powerful painkillers in exchange for cash. Simply put, he acted as a drug dealer, not a doctor. Even after he surrendered his DEA registration he continued to write prescriptions,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Health care professionals are not above the law, and those who illegally dispense prescriptions pills in violation of their oaths will be prosecuted.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to each of the law enforcement agencies for their assistance in this case.
During his allocution before Judge Bianco, Mayard admitted that in 2012 and 2013, he provided prescriptions to a co-conspirator for patients he had not examined in exchange for cash, and he continued to write prescriptions after surrendering his DEA registration to prescribe controlled substances on February 7, 2013.
On March 20, 2013, as part of a federal and state prescription drug abuse initiative within the Eastern District of New York, Mayard was arrested by members of the DEA’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad comprising agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department and Port Washington Police Department. Mayard has been in custody since his arrest. According to court filings and records of the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, during the first nine months of 2012, Mayard issued 2,953 oxycodone prescriptions – totaling 376,469 pills. On February 6, 2013, when members of the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad contacted Mayard, he voluntarily surrendered his DEA registration authorizing him to prescribe controlled substances. However, three weeks later, on February 28, 2013, Mayard nevertheless issued a prescription for oxycodone. On March 13, 2013, a pharmacist, in the presence of DEA agents, called Mayard about the prescription. During the call, Mayard confirmed that he had issued the prescription and provided his surrendered DEA registration number, all in an effort to persuade the pharmacist to fill the oxycodone prescription.
Oxycodone is a scheduled controlled substance that may be dispensed by medical professionals only for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of a doctor’s professional practice. It is a powerful and highly addictive drug and is increasingly abused because of its potency when crushed into a powder and ingested, leading to a heroin-like euphoria.
Mayard’s guilty plea 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 jurisdiction, 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 Prescription Drug 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 so-called opioid analgesics. So far, the Prescription Drug Initiative has brought over 160 federal and local criminal prosecutions, including the prosecution of 15 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen Bode.
Name: GRACIA L. MAYARD
Residence: Queens, NY