A Long Island dentist is among two people facing charges for allegedly selling opioid prescriptions to people without a medical need.
Farmingdale resident Jason DiBlasi, age 49, who owns a dental office in Massapequa, was arraigned on 113 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance by a practitioner or pharmacist in Nassau County Court Friday, Nov. 18.
Prosecutors said police began looking into DiBlasi’s prescribing habits while investigating a fatal overdose.
Between May and September 2021, members of the Nassau County DA’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) interviewed dozens of people who had reportedly received prescriptions from him, prosecutors said.
Investigators learned that DiBlasi had allegedly issued people prescriptions for opioids, including Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, without examining them, or in some cases never meeting or speaking to them.
Prosecutors said he was aided in the scheme by a friend, 52-year-old Marco Cotto, a Town of Oyster Bay worker from Farmingdale.
Cotto allegedly gathered the names, dates of birth, insurance information, and preferred pharmacies for people looking for opioids and then passed them along to DiBlasi.
For his role as middleman, Cotto was paid between $150 to $200 or received some of the pills, prosecutors said.
Cotto allegedly paid DiBlasi between $50 and $100 for the prescriptions steered to him for a total of approximately $5,000 between May 2017 and April 2021.
“In a case of clear disregard for medical integrity, Dr. DiBlasi with the assistance of another, allegedly distributed oxycodone to not only individuals that he didn’t treat as patients, but also to total strangers,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said.
“In the midst of the opioid crisis with the highest number of American poisoning deaths ever recorded, this supposed medical professional undoubtedly put lives at risk.”
In court Friday, DiBlasi pleaded not guilty and was released to pre-trial services. He is due back in court in January 2023.
If convicted, he faces up to 5 ½ years in prison.
Cotto also pleaded not guilty to 63 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance by a practitioner or pharmacist, along with 23 counts of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions.
He was released to pre-trial services and is scheduled to appear back in court in January 2023.
If convicted, Cotto could spend up to 5 ½ years in prison.
Prosecutors said neither DiBlasi nor Cotto are charged in connection to the fatal overdose.
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