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News Release
February 6, 2006

Bronx Doctor Indicted for Unlawful
Distribution of Hydrocodone

JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that AMARA S. CONTEH, M.D., 63, of Old Tappan, New Jersey, was indicted today for illegally distributing the controlled substance hydrocodone by prescribing it in a manner inconsistent with accepted medical practice.

CONTEH is the owner of the Allerton Park Medical-Dental Complex, located at 645 Allerton Avenue, Bronx, New York. The Indictment charges that CONTEH unlawfully distributed hydrocodone to various individuals in this manner during the period of approximately October 2002 through May 2005. According to a complaint previously filed in Manhattan federal court, a database containing prescription information provided by certain pharmacies, including Allerton Park Pharmacy(which is located in the same building as the Allerton Park Medical-Dental Complex), shows that from approximately February 2003 through August 2005 CONTEH wrote approximately 3883 prescriptions, approximately 88% of which were for hydrocodone and hydrocodone-based products, including Lorcet, Vicodin ES, and Vicodin HP. The complaint further alleges, among other things, that on more than twelve occasions from October 2002 to May 2005, CONTEH wrote prescriptions for hydrocodone for an individual (who is cooperating with authorities) who traveled from Freehold, New Jersey, to the Bronx where he met CONTEH at the Allerton Park Pharmacy and received a prescription for hydrocodone. CONTEH never examined the individual in any of those visits.

The case is assigned to United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

The offense alleged in the Indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, lifetime supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment. In addition, the United States is seeking forfeiture of $128,000, alleged in the Indictment to constitute the proceeds of the offense.

SAC John Gilbride praised the efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York in this case and said that the investigation is continuing.

Assistant United States Attorney JOHN J. O’DONNELL is in charge of the prosecution.

The charge contained in the Indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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