Dr. Jason DiBlasi and Marco Cotto allegedly sold opioid prescriptions to people without medical need; in some cases patients were never met or examined; nearly 7,000 opioids prescribed
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III announced that a Nassau County dentist and a Town of Oyster Bay worker have been indicted for their roles in a scheme to sell opioid prescriptions during a four-year period from 2017 to 2021.
Dr. Jason DiBlasi, 49, with a home address in Farmingdale and a dental office address in Massapequa, was arraigned before Judge Helene Gugerty today on 113 counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance by a Practitioner or Pharmacist (a C felony). The defendant pleaded not guilty, was released to pre-trial services, and is due back in court January 9, 2023. DiBlasi also previously surrendered his DEA license to prescribe. If convicted of the charges, he faces a potential maximum of five and a half years in prison.
Marco Cotto, 52, from Farmingdale was also arraigned today before Judge Gugerty, on 63 counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance by a Practitioner or Pharmacist (a C felony) and 23 counts of Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Fourth Degree (an A misdemeanor). The defendant pleaded not guilty, was released to pre-trial services, and is due back in court January 9, 2023. If convicted of the top charge, the defendant faces a potential maximum of five and a half years in prison.
“Thousands of Long Islanders have lost their lives in the last decade due to the Opioid Epidemic,” DA Donnelly said. “In this case, a respected dentist is accused of supplying more than a hundred opioid prescriptions, through an intermediary, to people he did not meet or examine. The diversion of powerful prescription pain medicines has wreaked havoc on our communities, and I thank the DEA for their assistance in this investigation.”
“In a case of clear disregard for medical integrity, Dr. DiBlasi with the assistance of another, allegedly distributed oxycodone to not only individuals that he didn’t treat as patients, but also to total strangers. In the midst of the opioid crisis with the highest number of American poisoning deaths ever recorded, this supposed medical professional undoubtedly put lives at risk,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III. “The DEA is committed to investigating medical professionals and registrants who contribute to drug abuse and addiction within our communities. I commend the work of our Long Island District Office Diversion Group and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for their dedication and hard work on this investigation.”
DA Donnelly said that, according to the investigation, Dr. Jason DiBlasi is a dentist licensed with the State of New York since November 2006 and operates an office at 690 Broadway in Massapequa.
During the course of an investigation into a fatal overdose, NCDA detective investigators became aware of Dr. DiBlasi’s prescribing patterns as a general dentist.
Between May 2021 and September 2021, investigators from the NCDA and DEA conducted dozens of interviews of individuals who had received prescriptions from the defendant. The investigators learned that DiBlasi was allegedly issuing prescriptions for opioids, including Oxycodone and Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen, to individuals whom DiBlasi had never examined, or in some cases never had met or spoken to.
Investigators learned that DiBlasi had a relationship with Marco Cotto and that Cotto had allegedly approached people known to him and invited them into the prescription scheme.
Cotto allegedly received personal information, including name, date of birth, insurance information and preferred pharmacy from these contacts and then allegedly supplied that information to Dr. DiBlasi. Cotto then allegedly informed participating individuals that the prescription was ready and Cotto was paid between $150 to $200 or received a portion of the pills.
Cotto allegedly paid DiBlasi between $50 and $100 for the prescriptions steered to him for a total of approximately $5,000.00 between May 2017 and April 2021.
Cotto is employed by the Town of Oyster Bay.
Neither DiBlasi nor Cotto are charged in connection to the fatal overdose.
Cotto was arrested on November 17, 2022, at his residence in Farmingdale by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office Detective Investigators.
Dr. DiBlasi surrendered this morning to NCDA’s Detective Investigators.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel Brian Rodriguez of the Narcotics, Firearms and Gangs Bureau. Dr. DiBlasi is represented by Marc Gann, Esq. Cotto was represented by Mindy Plotkin, Esq. at arraignment.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.