Dr. George Blatti sentenced up to 15 years in prison for opioid deaths

Dr. George Blatti sentenced up to 15 years in prison for opioid deaths
Former doctor George Blatti, 78, was sentenced to upward of 15 years in prison for the deaths of five patients. (Photo courtesy of the Nassau County Police Department)

A Nassau County doctor was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison after prescribing opioid prescriptions to patients that led to the deaths of five individuals, including patients from Port Washington and Floral Park, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.

“This doctor prescribed massive quantities of dangerous drugs to victims exhibiting clear signs of addiction and other health emergencies. His actions ultimately led to the deaths of five patients from drug overdose,” DA Anne Donnelly said. “We entrust doctors with our care every day, assuming that their medical expertise and ethical oath to do no harm will ensure our health and safety. George Blatti did not live up to his oath.”

Dr. George Blatti, 78, was arrested on April 18, 2019. He pleaded guilty to five counts of manslaughter in the second-degree on Oct. 10, 2023, and was sentenced Monday to five to 15 years in prison for his crimes.

“Today’s sentencing underscores the defendant’s blatant disregard to a doctor’s oath to do no harm,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said. “Dr. Blatti’s irreversible crimes have led to five deaths and hurt countless other people. DEA and our law enforcement partners have and will continue to bring to justice those who do the most harm, like Dr. Blatti and other drug traffickers.”

Blatti, a general practitioner with no specialized training or accreditation in pain management, was operating out of a former Radio Shack in Franklin Square

At the storefront, which still had the Radio Shack sign out front and merchandise shelves on the walls, Blatti prescribed thousands of pills for oxycodone, morphine, clonazepam, alprazolam and oxycontin.

The DA’s office said Blatti wrote prescriptions without taking a medical history or an exam, providing the drugs to patients with opioid addictions. The office added that some patients requesting the drugs were individuals he had never met or spoken to before.

Once Blatti lost his storefront in 2019, the DA’s office said he began operating out of his car in the parking lots of the Rockville Centre hotel and a Dunkin’ Donuts.

The office said Blatti used paper prescriptions to prescribe the opioids, which helped him skirt the oversight used in the state’s secure electronic prescription system.

Due to these practices, five patients died from 2016-2018, the DA’s office said.

The victims include Sean Quigley, a 31-year-old volunteer firefighter from Floral Park; Diane Woodring, 53 of Port Washington; Geraldine Sabatasso, 50; Michael Kinzer, 44; and Robert Mielinis, 55.

The DA said Blatti “failed his patients and caused inconceivable suffering to their families. As we continue to battle the opioid epidemic across communities on Long Island, we hope that George Blatti’s sentence sends a strong message: if you overprescribe opioids and endanger patients, we will hold you accountable.”

The DA’s office said the Nassau County Police Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit began investigating several fatal and non-fatal deaths in August 2018, which is when they said they found multiple affected individuals were prescribed opioids by Blatti.

Blatti, who was originally licensed in 1976, surrendered his medical license on June 24, 2019, after he was arrested and investigations began.

“We are proud to be a part of a collective law enforcement effort to investigate and apprehend this defendant,” Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. “This trusted physician deserted his oath and placed patients in grave danger by over prescribing highly addictive opioids.”

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