A Queens doctor who pleaded guilty to illegally distributing thousands of oxycodone pills was sentenced Wednesday to 4 1/2 years in prison.
Before his sentence, Gracia Mayard, 63, who had offices in Forest Hills and at his home in Cambria Heights, apologized in federal court in Central Islip.
"I . . . truly and humbly apologize to the court, the government . . . my family for my inexcusable behavior," Mayard said. "I lost my medical license for which I worked so hard."
Later, his attorney, Edward Kratt of Manhattan, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode declined to comment.
Mayard faced up to 87 months in prison. In sentencing him to 54 months, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bianco said he was trying to balance the good Mayard had done in the community and his native Haiti with his abuse of his "position of public trust."
Mayard pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone. In addition to prison, Mayard got 3 years of supervised release, must forfeit $20,000 and undergo drug treatment for an oxycodone addiction.
"Dr. Mayard violated his oath and the law by illegally providing vast quantities of these powerful painkillers without medical necessity," acting Eastern District U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie said in a statement. "Health care providers who act as drug dealers are on notice that they will face serious consequences."
Mayard has been held since his arrest in March 2013, time counted toward his sentence, leaving him with 27 months to serve. Kratt had said Mayard suffers from kidney failure, diabetes and heart problems, leading him to become an oxycodone addict.
He was caught by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents while attempting to flee the area, according to officials. The agents were investigating him for writing 6,500 prescriptions for more than 770,000 pills in four years, officials said.
Mayard, officials said, asked patients for the names of friends and relatives, so he could fraudulently write prescriptions in their names.
Officials at the time said he took in more than $1 million, by writing prescriptions for patients in the names of other people he had not seen.
Mayard's "exam room" contained a file cabinet and an "exam table covered with dust and papers," the agents said.
A month before his arrest, Mayard told DEA agents he had postdated prescriptions "to save time," and was not concerned with what happened after the prescriptions were filled, officials said. "It's just like a person that sells guns . . . He cannot control what happens after he sells a gun," agents quoted Mayard at that time.
When contacted by officials in March, he refused to surrender, and was tracked by his cellphone to a Queens street corner where a patient for whom he had prescribed narcotics was repairing the brakes on his car, Bode had said. The car contained food, clothes and medication. Mayard had several thousand dollars in cash on him, Bode said.
After the arrest, an attorney for Mayard said his client did not prescribe oxycodone to addicts and drug sellers but to patients in pain. "He was trying to help people," said the attorney, Gilbert Parris of Brooklyn.
With Ellen Yan