8 arrested including Brooklyn Doctor for distributing oxycodone
A Brooklyn medical doctor and seven co-conspirators were arraigned on a 10-count indictment in federal court on Wednesday and accused of a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and money laundering.
Dr. Somsri Ratanaprasatporn, who has an office located at 2108 Linden Boulevard in East New York, was among eight arrested and charged with operating a drug distribution ring between December 2018 and October 2022.
“Doctors and medical professionals have a professional obligation to do no harm, but, as alleged, the defendants callously supplied more than one million pills to traffickers for distribution, resulting in dangerous opioids flooding the streets of this district,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “Today’s charges demonstrate this Office’s continued commitment to stemming the availability of illegal drugs and holding to account those who contribute to the epic tragedy that is the opioid epidemic.”
Oxycodone is considered the most widely used recreational drug in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration, with approximately 11 million people using the highly addictive drug for non-medical reasons per year.
Opioids, including oxycodone, are said to be responsible for approximately 49,000 deaths per year in the U.S. as of 2017, or more than two-thirds of all overdose deaths, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The total number of drug overdose deaths in the United States is rapidly rising since the COVID-19 pandemic, with approximately 91,799 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2020, a more than 30 percent increase from 2019, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, Dr. Somsri Ratanaprasatporn and her seven co-conspirators, are accused of operating a distribution ring out of its Linden Boulevard medical practice that distributed more than 11,000 oxycodone prescriptions, which amounted to more than 1.2 million pills that have a street value of approximately $24 million.
According to the criminal complaint, Dr. Ratanaprasatporn and her office manager Leticia Smith, would issue oxycodone prescriptions, while other co-conspirators, pharmacists Bassam Amin, Yousef Ennab, and Omar Elsayed, filled the prescriptions at specific pharmacies in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Three other co-conspirators, Michael Kent, Anthony Mathis, and Raymond Walker allegedly ran “crews” of sham patients who received medically unnecessary prescriptions, according to prosecutors.
When law enforcement officers executed search warrants, they said they recovered several hundred-thousands of dollars in cash from Smith’s residence, and recovered two handguns that they had observed Kent tossing out the back door of his house.
The defendants face up to 20 years in prison each if convicted on top charges. Smith and Kent also face up to 20 years in prison for each count of money laundering if they are convicted.
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