NEW YORK — A Long Island pain doctor who had once been the minister of health for Guyana, was sentenced to 50 months in prison for illegally prescribing hundreds of thousands of powerful pain pills to addicts.
Noel Blackman, who served as the health minister of the South American country in the late 1980s and early 1990s, ran a number of pain management clinics in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island, from which he wrote prescriptions for oxycodone in exchange for $300, federal prosecutors said.
In total, the 68-year-old Blackman had been charged with writing 1,920 prescriptions for 365,000 30-milligram pills. Authorities said the pills had a street value of approximately $57,000.
He was arrested in February 2016 by Homeland Security agents who took him off a plane bound for Guyana. A search of his bags revealed $30,00 in cash tucked inside.
He pleaded guilty last August. In addition to the jail time, Blackman was ordered to pay $536,000 in fines.
“Blackman violated his professional oath to put his patients’ legitimate medical needs first, and instead chose to line his pockets with the proceeds of sales from oxycodone, which has ravaged communities in New York City and on Long Island,” said acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde.
News outlets in Guyana said Blackman was headed back there to become the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. He is also the co-owner of Guyana’s Channel 9 television station, which is also known as HBTV, or Hoyte-Blackman Television.