A doctor allegedly on the run was captured Wednesday and held on a charge of illegally distributing oxycodone pills on Long Island and Queens for cash, raking in what prosecutors said was $1.2 million in less than two years.
Gracia L. Mayard, 61, who has Queens offices at his Cambria Heights home and in Forest Hills, was held without bail Wednesday after U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Brown concluded he was a flight risk.
The doctor was being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and Nassau police because he wrote almost 6,500 oxycodone prescriptions in four years -- more than 772,000 pills -- often without even seeing the people named in his prescriptions, the complaint said.
Patients said Mayard asked for names of friends and relatives so he could write prescriptions in their names, allowing the patients to get more oxycodone, court papers said.
When investigators met with Mayard last month, he allegedly told them he postdated prescriptions "to save time" and that what happens afterward is not his concern. "It's just like a person that sells guns," investigators quoted him saying. "He cannot control what happens after he sells a gun."
Mayard refused to surrender Tuesday on an arrest warrant but was tracked down in Queens through his cellphone, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode. A "patient" he had supplied with the narcotic was fixing the brakes on a car that Mayard borrowed from another "patient" for whom he had prescribed the drug, Bode said.
The car contained a cooler and bags of food, clothes and medication, Bode said. Inside his expired passport were passport photos of the doctor in the same clothes he had on in court, Bode told the judge, and Mayard also told investigators he had $2,000 in cash.
Attorney Gilbert Parris of Brooklyn said his client had "made certain steps that can easily be misunderstood" but contended Mayard was not trying to flee.
He prescribed oxycodone not to addicts and drug sellers, but to people in pain, Parris said after the arraignment: "He was trying to help people."
The arrest warrant was filed after Mayard surrendered his license to write prescriptions on Feb. 7, at the request of investigators. But on March 13, a Suffolk pharmacist called authorities because a woman had an oxycodone prescription dated Feb. 28 from Mayard, court papers said.
If convicted, Mayard faces up to 20 years in prison.