On Monday morning, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested a Manhattan, New York man, 81-year-old, Dr. Martin Tesher, who is being accused of selling more than 2.2 million oxycodone pills over the past five years. According to the DEA, Tesher advertised himself as an old-fashioned doctor who made house calls, but they say he was really just a drug dealer in disguise.
DEA agents arrested Tesher at his office on East 68th Street brownstone. Following the arrest, areas residents said they had seen people going to the doctor’s office that didn’t appear to fit in with the neighborhood, such as people wearing sunglasses and construction boots. One woman referred to the people visiting the doctor as weird and said they arrived during the morning hours, PIX11 reported.
The Brooklyn U.S. Attorney has accused Tesher of writing illegal prescriptions and charging $500 cash money for each one. In a criminal complaint, prosecutors said that between 2012 and January 2017, the doctor had sold more than 14,000 prescriptions, most of which were for the potent opioid oxycodone, putting 2.2 million pills on New York streets.
According to public records, Dr. Tesher was born in Montreal. He was first issued a medical license in 1964 in California. In 1987, he became licensed to practice medicine in New York.
In 2011, states started to monitor prescription painkillers, and at that time, crooked doctors discovered a way to line their pockets with extra cash. In Dr. Tesher’s case, he knew some of his patients were abusing heroin or were addicted to oxycodone, but that didn’t seem to matter to him because he continued to write prescriptions for them and pocket the cash.
He does not specialize in pain management, according to the New York Post. However, for one patient, on the first visit to his office, the doctor wrote a prescription for 15 oxycodone pills per day, without examining the patient to verify that an injury existed that would require pain medication.
James Hunt, the New York DEA Director compared Tesher’s actions to that of a multi-million dollar heroin ring. He said the doctor had acted in much the same way a heroin ring would have when he distributed more than $20 million dollars worth of opioids. Painkillers such as oxycodone have led to a national opioid epidemic, with opioid overdoses killing more people annually than car crashes.
Tesher’s was released following an appearance in court. His bond was set at $250,000, which was secured by his brother-in-law and wife.
By Trixie Dillwood
Photo Courtesy ZocDoc