A Corona man was arrested on Wednesday for unlawfully posing as a medical doctor and setting up an unlicensed practice in which he performed medical procedures and wrote prescriptions on Post-it notes.
According to the Queens District Attorney’s office, Gabriel Estrada ran the unlawful practice out of 102-15A Northern Blvd. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unauthorized practice of a profession, and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.
During an investigation, an undercover NYPD officer posing as a patient went to the location on five separate occasions between June 11, 2013, and July 22, 2015. He complained of back pain, leg pain, numbness and diarrhea and met Estrada in an examination room.
During each visit, prosecutors said, the undercover officer was allegedly requested to pay $30 cash and, on one occasion, the officer allegedly observed Estrada inserting a syringe into the buttocks of a female and injecting an unknown substance into her.
He also tried to inject the undercover officer with an unknown substance and when the officer refused, Estrada wrote prescriptions on Post-it notes and instructed the officer to take them to a nearby pharmacy. The pharamacy charged the officer between $74 to $106 for anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and an unknown liquid substance, according to authorities.
Members of the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division executed a court-authorized search warrant on Wednesday and found a used hypodermic syringe, a plastic container containing nine oxycodone pills, and a variety of injectable drugs and prescription pills at the location.
When officers executed the search warrant, Estrada asked if one of his patients had died and explained that he graduated from school in Colombia in 1991, tried to get a license in the United States in 1999 and 2000 but wasn’t able to pass and has been treating 20 to 30 people a week since that time.
“The defendant – who is not licensed by New York State to practice medicine – is accused of preying upon unsuspecting individuals to selfishly enrich himself,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. “His alleged conduct jeopardized the safety of patients by allowing an unlicensed individual to treat them – including injecting them with an unknown substance.”
Estrada was ordered held on $15,000 bond or $7,500 cash bail and to surrender his Colombian passport. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted and was ordered to return to court on Sept. 29.
District Attorney Brown requested that other individuals treated by the defendant contact his Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau at 718-286-6519. Non-English-speaking individuals may call the District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs at 718-286-6690 and leave a message citing what language they are most comfortable speaking. Someone who speaks their language will return the call.