NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities say 49 people have been arrested in a physician-led oxycodone smuggling ring that trafficked $10 million worth of drugs across several states.
Dr. Hector Castro, a Manhattan physician, was arrested Tuesday and charged with 39 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court.
Authorities say Castro and his assistant illegally distributed more than 500,000 pills in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The undercover investigation by New York City's special narcotics unit was sparked by a fatal oxycodone overdose in Middlesex, N.J., in 2011. Officials say a pill bottle with Castro's name was found at the scene.
Authorities also seized 30 guns in New York and Pennsylvania.
Forty-three people were arrested in Pennsylvania.