For­mer GPHC Chair­man sen­tenc­ing post­poned

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -


for­mer Chair­man of the Board of Di­rec­tors of the Ge­orge­town Pub­lic Hospi­tal Cor­po­ra­tion (GPHC), Dr Noel Black­man, is ex­pected to be sen­tenced the lat­est in Fe­bru­ary 2017, sources have dis­closed, a year after he was first ar­rested.

Black­man, a Peo­ple’s Na­tional Congress (PNC) Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber and for­mer Health Min­is­ter, be­came em­broiled in an al­le­ga­tion ear­lier this year which stated that he il­le­gally wrote a num­ber of pre­scrip­tions for the nar­cotic-based painkiller ‘Oxy­codone’.

He pleaded guilty to count one of his in­dict­ments be­fore Judge Joanna Sey­bery, be­fore whom he stood fol­low­ing his ar­rest.

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties in the United States ar­rested the 68-year-old doc­tor in Fe­bru­ary of this year, shortly after he was ap­pointed Chair­man of the GPHC Board.

The for­mer Health Min­is­ter, un­der the PNC, was ar­rested for his al­leged in­volve­ment in a pre­scrip­tion drug-deal­ing en­ter­prise across three States. US fed-

Dr Noel Black­man

eral au­thor­i­ties said he was il­le­gally pre­scrib­ing vast amounts of oxy­codone – 365,000 pills in 2015 – in a drug- deal­ing en­ter­prise span­ning three States.

Agents took Black­man into cus­tody after they or­dered a Guyana-bound jet taxi­ing for take-off with him on board to re­turn to the air­port ter­mi­nal. Black­man – un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for sev­eral weeks – was in­tent on per­ma­nently leav­ing the United States, ac­cord­ing to a tip agents received be­fore they headed him off at the air­port. After the plane re­turned to the ter­mi­nal, he was ar­rested and later charged with con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute the nar­cotic.

Fed­eral agents with Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions also found $30,000 in cash stashed in his lug­gage, of­fi­cials had said.

Ac­cord­ing to Black­man’s pre­scrip­tion records checked by fed­eral au­thor­i­ties, the 365,000 oxy­codone pills came from 2487 pre­scrip­tions – a marked in­crease from the 114 he wrote for 3800 pills in 2014 and 63 writ­ten in 2013 for 2100 pills.

Black­man, who is also co-owner of HBTV Chan­nel 9 in Guyana, had of­fices in Franklin Square, in Elmhurst, Queens, and in Brook­lyn. Un­til his ar­rest, Black­man had prac­ticed surgery and pain man­age­ment from of­fices in Franklin Square, Elmhurst and Brook­lyn and most re­cently lived in Far Rock­away, but was a long-time res­i­dent of Val­ley Stream.

Black­man’s ar­rest was said to be the lat­est in a string of cases in­volv­ing Long Is­land doc­tors charged with il­le­gally dol­ing out highly ad­dic­tive pre­scrip­tion painkillers.

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