The United States is in the midst of a painkiller epidemic, and there are probably a lot of people and companies to blame.
But, on Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that they’d arrested a doctor who they believe illegally pushed out millions of pills. The feds say that Dr. David Taylor, along with two co-conspirators, ran a “pill mill” from January 2012 to as recently as this month, Fox 5 reported.
In a press release, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said, “We are committed to holding accountable everyone involving in the illegal distribution of opioids, including allegedly corrupt doctors.” The 74-year-old doctor could face up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.
The agent in charge of the operation stated:
It is alleged that millions of dollars’ worth of pain medication was diverted onto the streets of Staten Island, enabling addiction and overdoses on the borough. These arrests will impact Staten Island’s opioid market by shutting down an illicit pill distribution operation located at the heart of the borough, along Hylan Boulevard.
Vito Gallicchio, 48, and Daniel Garcia, 57, were also arrested. While the specific working of their operation remains largely unclear, Fox 5 reported that Gallicchio routinely sent “fake patients” to the physician. And, Taylor apparently wasn’t picky about the methods of payment. He allegedly accepted payments in the form of single malt whiskey.
The investigation that brought down the ring also included the New York Police Department. Commissioner James O’Neill stated, “The defendants distributed Oxycodone for at least five years, at the expense of those addicted to these pain killers. The NYPD will aggressively pursue those who distribute illegal prescription drugs.”