Dr. Francis, 49, of Melville, who is listed as an internist, is affiliated with Good Samaritan Hospital.
Nassau police sources said the arrest came after an investigation that included at least seven instances where Dr. Francis prescribed the painkiller Oxycodone. The investigation was launched after an anonymous source claimed Dr. Francis was prescribing drugs to a family member who did not need them. Many of the people who obtained the prescriptions were young, said the source.
He received between $480-$600 for the prescriptions, police said.
Dr. Francis pleaded not guilty at his Wednesday arraignment. Bail was set at $180,000 bond, $90,000 cash. He faces up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.
Nassau police commissioner said in a statement: “Dr. Saji Frances is the antithesis of the Hippocratic oath, to do no harm. His greed and total disregard for the ethics of the medical profession has exacerbated the opiate and heroin abuse in Massapequa.”
Francis’ attorney, Thomas McCullough, was not immediately available for comment.
“Dangerous painkillers like these are often the gateway to more lethal opiates like heroin, and this community right now is ground zero in our battle against the Island’s heroin epidemic,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. ”This arrest represents an important victory in our fight.”