- Tuesday December 24th, 2013 :: 09:00 a.m. EST
Rita Patel of Matawan, pharmacist in charge of Shayona Pharmacy in Perth Amboy was arrested.
A nearly two year investigation involving numerous Federal, State, County and Local Law Enforcement Agencies from New York and New Jersey ended last week during which Rita Patel, 48, a pharmacist at Shayona Pharmacy, 147 Smith Street, Perth Amboy was involved in a massive prescription painkiller scheme that funneled millions of pills to longshoremen on Staten Island and Brooklyn.
The scheme — headed by a dirty doctor and a chiropractor — allowed dock workers to get their hands on 1.8 million oxycodone pills over the past four years, New York District Attorney Daniel Donovan announced on Wednesday.
The leader of the scheme, Dr. Mihir Bhatt, 47, would set up appointments at the New York City Wellness Center in Annadale, N.Y. He'd also dispense prescriptions from his home in Edison.
"Over a four-year period, Bhatt prescribed nearly 2 million pills, enough to cover seven miles if they were put piece by piece," Donovan said.
When pharmacies on Long Island rejected the prescriptions written by Bhatt, the conspirators enlisted the help of Rita Patel of Matawan, pharmacist in charge of Shayona Pharmacy in Perth Amboy. Patel also committed insurance fraud, charging patients more than their insurance company co-pays to fill prescriptions, the report said.
Patel was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Patel was arrested and processed by Officer Jesus Martinez of the Perth Amboy Police Department’s Special Investigation Bureau.
Perth Amboy PD
365 New Brunswick Ave
Perth Amboy, NJ 08861