Judge: Doctors Contributed to N.Y. Opioid Problem
Two former physicians from opposite ends of New York state are accused of contributing to New York State's opioid epidemic, one from the western part of the state and the other from the eastern portion of New York.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Orthopedic Surgeon Jeffrey Gundel of Gansevoort in Saratoga County had admitted he wrote over 200 prescriptions authorizing dispensation of at least 59,520 30-milligram Oxycodone tablets for no legitimate medical purpose.
Prosecutors said Gundel sold the prescriptions for cash, often to people he didn't know and with whom he never had direct contact.
The 51-year-old will serve 78 months in federal prison for his guilty plea to one count of unlawful distribution of Oxycodone.
Judge Mae D'Agostino told Gundel in Federal Court in Albany that he "became a common criminal drug dealer."
In western New York, 78-year-old Pravin Mehta of Amherst has been sentenced in Federal Court in Buffalo to two years in prison and fined $500,000.
Prosecutors say Mehta was arrested in 2011 after being caught writing prescriptions for such pain medication as Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone without conducting legitimate medical examinations that would precede prescribing the narcotics.