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Monroe doctor arrested, charged with illegally prescribing drugs

Published July 23. 2011 09:02AM

A Monroe County doctor was arrested Friday following an undercover investigation and allegations that he illegally prescribed and dispensed large quantities of prescription narcotics.

Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Dr. Rodrigo Estonilo, 65, 1213 Big Ridge Estates, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County. Dr. Rodrigo maintains the medical practice Neurosurgery Pain Rehabilitation Center, 100 Eaglesmere Circle, Suite 22A, East Stroudsburg.

Evidence and testimony regarding the case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed yesterday.

Kelly said that Dr. Estonilo is charged with illegally prescribing prescription drugs such as the narcotic pain killers OxyContin, Oxycodone and Percocet as well as other powerfully addictive drugs including Adipex, Ambien, and Adderall.

As part of the investigation, Kelly said undercover attorney general agents posed as patients and went to Dr. Estonilo's office for the sole purpose of obtaining prescription narcotics.

According to the grand jury, during the undercover appointments, Dr. Estonilo openly discussed the addictive nature of the drugs he prescribed and asked the agent if she was addicted to the medications.

The grand jury found that Dr. Estonilo did not issue any warnings or offer non-narcotic alternatives to the prescription drugs he prescribed despite being told by the agent that she was not in pain but still wanted her "Percocets."

Kelly said that during a typical office visit the agent did not receive a medical examination by Dr. Estonilo and despite his knowledge of the addictive nature of these powerful narcotics, continued to write prescriptions in the strength and dosage requested by the agents, not the lowest available.

Dr. Estonilo is charged with one count of prescribing outside the accepted treatment principles and one count of dispensing/prescribing to a drug dependent person.

He was preliminarily arraigned before East Stroudsburg Magisterial District Judge Michael Muth and released on his own recognizance. He will be prosecuted in Monroe County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Cherba of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.

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