A Long Island doctor arrested as he tried to fly out of the country this year pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to distribute prescribe an addictive painkiller, oxycodone, federal authorities said.
Dr. Noel Blackman, 69, who had offices in Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine at his Jan. 6 sentencing.
As part of his guilty plea, the Valley Stream man admitted getting cash in return for writing oxycodone prescriptions for people that he knew had no legitimate medical need for them. Under his plea, Blackman will have to forfeit $503,200, his profit from writing 2,487 prescriptions for about 365,000 oxycodone pills from 2015 to February, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District, which covers Long Island.
Blackman’s attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday evening. Blackman could not be reached.
In February, the doctor was on a plane taxiing at Kennedy Airport, headed for Guyana, where he had been minister of health, when federal agents ordered the aircraft back. Agents had been tipped off about the doctor leaving the United States for good, and they found $30,000 in cash in Blackman’s luggage, prosecutors said.
After he was arrested at the airport, Blackman told agents it was possible that some of his patients “were addicted to oxycodone,” and that he charged approximately $300 to see patients at his pain management practice. He told them he typically saw approximately 100 patients per day, “which he estimated was about one patient every six minutes,” according to court papers.
The doctor, whose office was in Franklin Square, often wrote prescriptions without seeing the recipients of the pills, authorities said.
His oxycodone prescriptions were a marked increase from the 114 he wrote for 3,800 pills in 2014 and 63 written in 2013 for 2,100 pills, authorities said.
“Blackman violated his professional oath to put his patients’ legitimate medical needs first and instead chose to line his pockets with the proceeds from the sale of illegal prescriptions for oxycodone, a highly addictive drug that has been linked to the rise in heroin trafficking and other social ills in our communities,” U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a news release.