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Long IslandCrime

LI doctor accused of illegally selling oxycodone prescriptions freed on bond

Dr. Tameshwar Ammar, 51, of Amityville is charged

Dr. Tameshwar Ammar, 51, of Amityville is charged with illegally selling prescriptions for oxycondone. Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

A doctor arrested on charges of illegally selling prescriptions for oxycodone to two patients — one of whom was allegedly a drug dealer, the other who died after getting a prescription — was released on $500,000 bond Friday by a magistrate over the objections of a federal prosecutor.

U.S. Magistrate Steven Locke at the federal court in Central Islip also ordered Tameshwar Ammar, 51, of Amityville, to be electronically monitored, be barred from prescribing any controlled substance,  obtain permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe any other drug, and get substance abuse counseling.

The prosecutor had wanted Ammar detained pending the resolution of the case, but Locke acted with the support of federal pretrial services, which believed that there were sufficient conditions to prevent the doctor from fleeing the country or further issuing prescriptions for controlled substances. 

The bond was secured by homes of friends and relatives, who would provide “moral suasion” to prevent Ammar from fleeing or acting illegally, Locke said.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley King, had argued that Ammar should be permanently detained for a number of reasons beyond the charges against him, saying that Ammar was not acting as medical professional but as “a reckless drug dealer.”

Among the reasons for detention: that Ammar lied on the assessment form he filled out for pretrial services, failing to acknowledge he had a substance abuse problem; falsely claiming that he practices pediatric anesthesiology; and giving the wrong name of his business, King said. In addition, King said Ammar had has relatives in both Guyana and  a Caribbean island who might provide shelter if he fled.

The prosecutor also reiterated his arguments contained in a court paper opposing bond for Ammar, including that he owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax liens, and had created a shell company to hide his earnings to avoid paying both child support and the tax liens.

Ammar was arrested Thursday on charges of conspiracy to illegally prescribe oxycodone, and two counts of illegally selling oxycodone. He has pleaded not guilty

One of the patients was a drug dealer who resold the drug; the other patient died of an overdose after getting an oxycodone prescription from Amar, according to officials.

The drug dealer, identified as John Doe 1, supplied Ammar with cocaine and steroids in return for oxycodone prescriptions, the prosecutor said. Ammar was not accused in the death of the second patient, identified as John Doe 2.

But the papers said Ammar provided the prescriptions to John Doe 2 “knowing that [he] had a history of ‘doctor shopping,’ 'addiction,’ a ‘suicide’ attempt and psychiatric issues.” 

The court papers said that the patient died of an overdose of oxycodone, methadone and ketamine two weeks after the doctor had issued his last oxycodone prescription.

“Significantly, ketamine, along with marijuana, was found during the execution of a search warrant in 2017 at the defendant’s Roslyn office,” the papers said.

And despite a note in John Doe 2’s medical file — apparently from another doctor — stating in capital letters “DISCONTINUED FROM TAKING OXYCODONE … COULD BE DANGEROUS TO HIS BIPOLAR DISORDER," Ammar continued to prescribe oxycodone for him, the papers said.

The papers also said that a DEA review of Ammar’s records indicates that at least 60 patients had been prescribed combinations of oxycodone and other drugs like those the doctor had prescribed for John Doe 2.

Ammar’s attorney could not be reached immediately for comment; prosecutor King declined to comment.

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