A nurse practitioner who ran a health clinic in Hempstead was charged Wednesday with taking cash payments in exchange for oxycodone prescriptions, authorities said.
Lisa Del Pozo, 49, was charged with illegally distributing oxycodone and other controlled substances during an appearance in federal court in Central Islip on Wednesday afternoon.
Agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration took Del Pozo into custody earlier in the day after executing a search warrant at the Kind Family Health clinic at 421 S. Franklin St., authorities said.
Del Pozo was released on a $100,000 appearance bond set by Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown, according to Angelina Thompson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney for the eastern district.
Del Pozo’s attorney, Patrick O’Connell of Central Islip, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities began looking into her operation after getting a tip that Del Pozo traded prescriptions for cash.
DEA officials found that between January 2015 and April 2016, Del Pozo wrote about 3,116 prescriptions for 532 patients, totaling 126,407 pills.
In that same time period, investigators found that 49 people received 1,230 of the prescriptions and 22 of those 49 people had criminal records involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance.
In March, the DEA got one of Del Pozo’s clients to work for them, wearing a video and audio recording device, the complaint said.
In May, according to the complaint, Del Pozo expressed concern about state officials who regulate prescriptions for controlled substances, saying, “We’re doing Percocets, we’re not doing these oxy’s. It’s way too much. The state comes in, they want charts, it’s like ‘ahhhhh!’ I’m going bananas, you know?”
But during that same meeting with the informant, she agreed to take $200 in exchange for oxycodone prescriptions, the complaint said.
At Del Pozo’s Hempstead clinic Wednesday, the shades were drawn and a sign on the door read: “Office is closed.”
Juana Rodriguez, 40, who lives next door, expressed shock at Del Pozo’s arrest.
“She’s very nice.”
Another neighbor, Sarah Bailey, 40, said she had been a patient at the clinic about three times in the past when she had chest pain and other ailments.
“She never gave me no prescriptions,” Bailey said. “I don’t like taking pills. She would tell me to go get some Advil over the counter.”