MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island doctor is facing decades in prison for allegedly selling dangerous drug prescriptions to anyone who could pay him.
Medical doctor George Blatti has been charged with dealing out nearly two million opioid and amphetamine prescriptions for cash.
Those dealings allegedly happened at Dunkin’ Donuts and Best Western hotel parking lots in Rockville Centre.
“Brazen, outrageous, people have images of what drug dealers look like and they don’t think of a doctor, but let’s make no mistake he’s a drug dealer,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
It’s also alleged that many paper prescriptions were written and sold out of a makeshift office the 74-year-old rented in Franklin Square – in a former Radio Shack.
“No, he used to come in just for juice,” one local merchant said.
Deli merchants are overwhelmed at what may have been going on next door.
“We see people going in there but thought he was an M.D.” Nancy Spagnuoli said.
Dr. Blatti’s rental office abruptly closed with information directing patients to call him elsewhere.
A second office in Malverne was also empty.
Dr. Blatti faces 54 charges in an indictment that includes criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal diversion of prescription medications, forgery, and reckless endangerment.
“Sometimes people were getting a script filled in the passenger seat and by the time they got out somebody else was waiting to jump into the passenger seat and get another prescription,” D.A. Singas said.
Prosecutors say you name it, Blatti wrote it – as long as you had cash to pay him.
“This has to end, we’ve lost too many people,” local homeowner Mary Anne Cestaro said.
“We are trying to clean up the chaos caused by people like him, dispensing drugs like it was Halloween,” Nassau Police Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith said.
“How many doctors have been arrested for opioids… it’s not surprising,” Long Island resident Amy Frank said.
The husband and father of four pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 bond.
Dr. Blatti just surrendered his medical license, which he first received back in 1976.
He is no longer affiliated with any local hospitals and has reportedly been living out of a hotel.
The doctor says he is prepared to go to trial. He faces up to 59 years in prison if convicted.