Rather, officials said they were selling prescription drugs. And authorities said the ringleader is Diana Williamson, a physician who wrote prescription after prescription for her group of dealers while filing false payments to Medicaid.
The FBI said oxycodone and percocet among the prescription painkillers that were being sold for thousands in profits. Almost one quarter -- $997,128 of $4,392,832 -- of the doctor's billing to Medicaid, went to Oxycontin prescriptions, according to the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General. The fraud netted 11,000 oxycodone pills.
Prosecutors said profits from the illegal sales were split between Dr. Williamson and the suspected dealers.
FBI and DEA agents made the arrests early Thursday. The suspects were then brought to federal court in Manhattan for a court appearances in the afternoon. With the FBI raiding the West 127th Street offices, Dr. Williamson's representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.