A former Health Minister of Guyana has been jailed in the United States on charges of illegally distributing a highly addictive prescription painkiller.
Noel Blackman, 69, had been working as a doctor at a pain management office in Queens, New York.
He was sentenced to 50 months in prison and three years of supervised release on Friday for illegally distributing oxycodone, a highly addictive prescription painkiller, according to published media reports.
Additionally, he was ordered to forfeit USD$536,200 in illegal proceeds.
When he pleaded guilty last August, Blackman admitted that, in exchange for $300 cash payments, he wrote oxycodone prescriptions for 1,920 30 milligram oxycodone pills to people he knew had no legitimate medical need for it.
US authorities say he made more than a half-million dollars through his illegal scheme.
Blackman was arrested on Feb. 7, 2016 at John F. Kennedy Airport as he tried to board a flight to Guyana. When he was arrested, officers found USD$30,000 concealed in his luggage.