The night before he was indicted this week, a Long Island dentist suspected of exchanging painkillers for sexual favors was sending text messages suggesting he’d give a woman a Percocet prescription if she wanted to “hang out” and “party a bit,” federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Barry Arnold, 70, of Williston Park, New York, is charged with 28 counts of distribution of controlled substances, accused of abusing his prescription privileges in a four-year scheme to supply women with oxycodone, Percocet and Xanax in exchange for sex acts.
Arnold, indicted on Tuesday and arrested Wednesday, was arraigned Thursday afternoon in federal court in Central Islip. Prosecutors sought his detention, arguing he is a danger to society and that the potential for a lengthy prison sentence could compel him to flee the country.
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Arnold was released on $200,000 bond, under the condition he remain on electronically monitored house arrest, a spokesman for the EDNY said. He is still allowed to practice as a dentist, but cannot perform oral surgery or administer nitrous oxide, though is allowed to administer Novocain.
Arnold was uncooperative with authorities during arrest processing and refused to provide his thumbprint to unlock his iPhone despite a search warrant requiring him to provide biometric data, federal prosecutors said.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said Arnold’s alleged crimes were an abdication of his professional oath. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh said the dentist's alleged behavior is “really no different than a street dealer.”
A message seeking comment was left with Arnold’s lawyer.
Arnold, first licensed to practice in New York in 1975, remained listed Thursday as a registered dentist in the state’s licensing database. His name did not appear in records of misconduct proceedings.
A message seeking comment was left with the state’s licensing agency.
According to prosecutors, Arnold doled out prescriptions to at least six different women on numerous occasions from October 2016 to August 2020, often meeting them after hours at his dental offices in Lynbrook and Valley Stream.
The women were not Arnold’s dental patients and the prescriptions were not for legitimate medical purposes, prosecutors said.
Arnold engaged in sex acts with women as payment and on several occasions went with them to pharmacies to collect a kick back in the form of pills that he then handed out to women individually, prosecutors said. Arnold also bought and used crack cocaine with some of the women, prosecutors said.
On Monday, Arnold exchanged text messages with a person he believed to be one of the women, asking if she wanted to “hang out” and “party a bit” and saying he “might be able to give you a perc script,” prosecutors said.
Arnold then texted that she could bring a friend “that likes to party,” prosecutors said.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 29.