A Long Island dentist was arrested on Wednesday and charged with prescribing opioids to drug-addicted women who were not his patients in exchange for sex.
Barry Arnold, 70, of Williston Park, New York, is accused of abusing his prescription privileges to supply women with oxycodone, Percocet and Xanax in exchange for sex acts at his home and office between October 2016 and August 2020, reports say.
The Sex Acts Occurred after Business Hours
The sex acts occurred after business hours at Arnold's former dental office in Lynbrook and current office in Valley Stream, reported WABC-TV station.
In total, he allegedly forked over at least 28 illegal prescriptions for the highly addictive drugs to six women â none of whom were his patients, reported New York Post.
Percocet Prescription in Exchange of a "Hang Out" and a Party
On Monday, Arnold exchanged text messages with someone he believed to be one of the women, asking if she wanted to 'hang out' and 'party a bit', and saying he 'might be able to give you a perc script,' prosecutors said.
On several occasions, Arnold allegedly accompanied his victims to pharmacies where they filled their controlled substance prescriptions written by Arnold. Once filled, authorities say Arnold would receive a quantity of pills as a "kick-back" for writing the prescription. As a result, Arnold often had a supply of controlled substances, usually Xanax, on hand that he distributed to victims in loose pill form, according to The Associated Press.
Arnold Still Allowed to Practice as a Dentist but Banned from Performing Oral Surgery
Arnold, indicted on Tuesday and arrested Wednesday, was arraigned Thursday in federal court in Central Islip. He was released on a $200,000 bond in a ruling that allows him to continue working.
Arnold, first licensed to practice in New York in 1975, remained listed Thursday as a registered dentist in the state's licensing database, reported the Daily Mail. He is still allowed to practice as a dentist, but cannot perform oral surgery or administer nitrous oxide, though is allowed to administer Novocain.
Arnold has been ordered to stay away from witnesses and alleged victims. Prosecutors are seeking Arnold's detention, arguing he is a danger to society and that the potential for a lengthy prison sentence could compel him to flee the country, according to New York Post. The next court date is October 29 at the same court in the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.
Social Media Reactions
Many social media users feel that Arnold helped fuel the opioid crisis that has ravaged parts of the Empire State. Netizens have described his actions as outrageous and terrific and said he misused his position by accelerating drug abuse.
One internet user said, "I try not to judge a person's appearance but there's not a chance I'd let that guy anywhere near me. I don't care if I was facing certain death and he was the only one that could save me."
Another said:" And, he is still allowed to practice? How can this possibly be?" One comment read, "Looks like he already had his fraternity initiation at the University of Attica. Sigma Alpha Xanax."