A 61-year-old doctor from Northport faces arraignment in U.S. District Court Thursday on charges he wrote hundreds of patient prescriptions for oxycodone pills, as well as other controlled substances, “without a legitimate medical purpose,” according to a federal complaint.
Dr. Carmine Mandarano, who practices in East Islip, surrendered Thursday morning to Drug Enforcement Administration agents following a months-long investigation, officials said.
Mandarano is scheduled to appear Thursday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Central Islip. He faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison if convicted, officials said.
His attorney, Joseph Ferrante of Hauppauge, could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the complaint, the DEA alleges that between approximately May 2010 and April 2013 Mandarano, who specializes in treatment of “asthma, allergies, immunology and smoking cessation,” did “knowingly and intentionally” distribute a wide range of controlled substances to patients — including oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, Suboxone and hydrocodone.
The DEA said the investigation into Mandarano’s practices was sparked by “a complaint from a drug treatment professional,” referred to as “John Doe,” who told them his clients had described Mandarano as “a doctor from whom it was ‘easy’ to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone.”
The complaint alleges that Mandarano issued “hundreds of prescriptions” for Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances “outside the usual course of professional practice” and “not for a legitimate medical practice.” This included writing prescriptions for more than 308,000 oxycodone pills, “an extremely high number for a sole family practitioner,” the complaint alleges.
The complaint cites three unnamed patients interviewed during the DEA investigation and alleges that Mandarano continued to prescribe controlled substances to all three despite being aware that one had failed a drug test for other controlled substances; the second had been involved in “doctor shopping;” and the third had admitted selling his Suboxone doses for $10 to $15 per 8-milligram tab.
The “doctor shopping” allegation was based on a July 2011 letter to Mandarano from the state Department of Health, according to the complaint — a letter, the DEA said, that Mandarano maintained in the patient’s medical file.
The complaint also alleges that, according to one of the unnamed patients, other patients and an employee of Mandarano, the doctor “only accepted cash” payments for Suboxone prescriptions — and that witnesses said Mandarano pocketed those payments and did not process them as he did other office transactions.
Mandarano is the latest medical professional to be arrested since an intensive federal crackdown on illegal distribution of oxycodone on Long Island began in 2011, following David Laffer‘s murder of four people in a Medford pharmacy while stealing painkillers.
Last month two Long Island medical professionals admitted to illegally distributing oxycodone. Rools Deslouches, 42, a nurse practitioner from Brentwood, and Stephen Owusu, 57, a Valley Stream podiatrist, each pleaded guilty in unrelated cases at federal court in Central Islip to illegally writing prescriptions for oxycodone.
Deslouches and Owusu each face up to 20 years in prison and a million-dollar fine when they are sentenced.
Separately, two doctors have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing; one doctor has been convicted and sentenced to 30 months; and two doctors are awaiting trial.
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Feds: Dr. Carmine Mandarano charged with illegal oxycodone distribution – Newsday