Five doctors have been arrested for allegedly selling millions of oxycodone pills to opioid addicts, Manhattan federal prosecutors announced Thursday. A pharmacist and three medical assistants were also arrested during the four busts in Manhattan, Queens, Westchester County, and Staten Island. “These doctors and other health professionals should have been the first line of defense against opioid abuse, but as alleged in today’s charges, instead of caring for their patients, they were drug dealers in white coats,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. The opioid pills resulted in the deaths of several people and multiple overdoses, Manhattan federal prosecutors said.
One of the doctors, Dante Cubangbang, allegedly sold over 6 million pills out of his Queens pain-relief office with the help of three employees, authorities said. They earned more than $5 million in cash profits, the most by far of any doctor’s office in the state, prosecutors allege. Another doctor allegedly took an all-expenses paid trip to Puerto Rico, cruises, high-end whisky, and fancy meals in exchange for prescribing large quantities and high doses of the drug. “They hid behind their medical licenses to sell addictive, dangerous narcotics,” Berman said.