A $10M oxycodone ring was busted by police after police raided a New York City doctor’s house. Nearly 49 people, including the doctor, were arrested this week on drug possession and trafficking charges.
Dr. Hector Castro, who ran the Itzamna Medical Center in Manhattan, pleaded not guilty to 39 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance. The $10M oxycodone ring bust was the biggest prescription drug mass arrest in the history of Pennsylvania.
Two of these people were known drug lords that were in charge of drug smuggling networks pushing 500,000 pills allegedly transferred from state pharmacies on prescriptions given from Dr. Castro’s office. The $10M oxycodone ring was busted only after an investigation that lasted over 15 months.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan says, “A scheme to obtain prescriptions in one state, and fill them and distribute them in another, exposes weakness in our regulatory systems.” The $10M Oxycodone ring had been operating for over two years at this point.
Dr. Castro’s office manager, Patricia Valera, was arrested for illegally distributed pills in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Valera ran a separate scheme where she stole forged prescriptions from the office, selling them to competing prescription drug rings.
When police raided Dr. Castro’s home they found a stash of guns and $20,000 in cash. Authorities also seized 30 guns in a series of stings that targeted other members of the Oxycodone ring. Dr. Castro is being held on a $500,000 bond and he will appear in court on April 11.
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