A Nassau County judge sentenced a Massapequa doctor to six months in jail on Thursday for illegally selling prescriptions for cash despite prosecutors’ requests that he serve two years in prison.
Dr. Saji Francis had pleaded guilty in July to nine counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance. As a part of his plea, Francis was required to forfeit his medical license and Massapequa office.
Undercover officers caught the 50-year-old Melville man on hidden cameras selling oft-abused prescription medications like Oxycodone, Vicodin and Percocet at his office on Merrick Road nearby Massapequa High School, widely known to be Ground Zero for Long Island’s teen heroin epidemic. Prescription opiates are a common gateway drug to heroin.
Francis sold the prescriptions for between $480 and $600 without an exam, police said.
The investigation that led to his December arrest was sparked by a tip from the family of Timothy Kroll, who got hooked on Oxycodone, then heroin and eventually died from the toll the drug abuse took on his body. Knoll’s father, Frank, had told the Press that the loss of his son left the family feeling “robbed.”
Prosecutors felt the same way when Francis was sentenced. “The current sentencing laws that require no mandatory minimum prison term for these crimes need to change to better address the for-profit drug dealers that are poisoning our communities,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.
Francis, a native of India, will reportedly face a deportation when he is released from jail.