A Long Island dentist has been accused of conducting a multi-year scheme in which he distributed painkillers in exchange for sexual acts.
According to the Associated Press, 70-year-old Barry Arnold was arrested Wednesday and charged with 28 counts of distribution of controlled substances. Authorities say the Williston Park resident had written illegal prescriptions of drugs—including oxycodone, Percocet and Xanax—to women who were known to have struggled with drug addiction.
“With a clear disregard for medical integrity, Dr. Arnold allegedly exchanged prescriptions for sex in his office and home,” DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Donovan said. “This investigation focused on a dentist abusing his position by proliferating drug abuse and endangering the lives and safety of several women. I commend the men and women at the DEA Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Group, HSI, Suffolk County Police Department Human Trafficking Investigations Unit, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the US Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York for their expedient and diligent work on this investigation.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York, Arnold had illegally provided painkillers to at least six different women between October 2016 and August 2020. Prosecutors say none of the women were Arnold’s dental patients and the prescriptions were not for legitimate medical purposes.
Authorities say Arnold tried to trade an opioid-based drug as recently as Monday, when he allegedly sent a text message to a woman asking if she wanted to “hang out” and “party a bit.” The dentist told the woman—identified as Jane Doe #5—that he might be able to give her a “perc script,” which is believed to be a reference to Percocet.
“It’s alleged that Dr. Arnold took advantage of vulnerable, addicted women for his own benefit,” HSI Special Agent in Charge Fitzhugh said. “He is ethically and legally responsible for every prescription, but he broke his oath with his alleged misconduct, and he is really no different than a street dealer. HSI’s continued partnership with the DEA will ensure that drug-dealing dentists are arrested for their criminal acts.”
Arnold is now reportedly being held without bail. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.