Dr. David Taylor, internist on Staten Island, was arrested for running a pill mill, diverting opioid painkillers worth millions to the black market, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Taylor, 74, prescribed 4 million opioid pills totaling a street value of $40 million without an examination, MRIs, or medical records, FOX5 reported. Sometimes he took money, sometimes goods, including single malt whiskey.
Two more men were arrested as accomplices, Vito Gallicchio, 48, and Daniel Garcia, 57.
“It is alleged that millions of dollars’ worth of pain medication was diverted onto the streets of Staten Island, enabling addiction and overdoses on the borough,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt. “These arrests will impact Staten Island’s opioid market by shutting down an illicit pill distribution operation located at the heart of the borough, along Hylan Boulevard.”
All three were charged with conspiring to distribute, and possessing with intent to distribute, oxycodone (a potent opioid painkiller). The offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad in New York, which includes agents and officers from the DEA, the NYPD, New York State Police, New York State Department of Financial Services, and New York City Department of Investigation.
Staten Island has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic that has swept the nation, killing over 33,000 across United States in 2015.
“Doctors should be advancing the health of our citizens, not allegedly fueling the biggest health crisis facing the country, the opioid abuse epidemic,” said Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim. “We are committed to holding accountable everyone involving in the illegal distribution of opioids, including allegedly corrupt doctors.”