Updated: Thursday, 27 Jan 2011, 6:52 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 27 Jan 2011, 5:34 PM EST
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Federal agents have arrested a Niagara Falls doctor accused of writing illegal pain prescriptions.
Uniformed officers with automatic weapons stand guard outside of Dr. Pravin Mehta's medical office in Niagara Falls. His patients were turned away.
One patient said, "I was just pretty shocked. Go see my doctor just to see all these police."
Dr. Mehta is accused of issuing pain killer prescriptions to patients without a proper medical exam. The investigation, which began about a year ago, involved undercover agents posing as patients.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul said, "On some occasions weren't asked any questions at all about their particular medical condition."
Authorities believe some of the painkillers prescribed by Mehta wound up being sold on the streets illegally, and they point to a recent narcotics bust.
Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John Chella said, "16 out of the 38 bottles that we seized. 16 of them were illegal controlled substances. 16 of these had Dr. Mehta's name on them."
Besides Mehta, 13 others, including current and former employees of Mehta's medical practice, are charged in connection with the prescription drug probe.
"Some of the defendants sold these pills, which they obtained from Dr. Mehta's office, on the streets of our community for between $30 and $50 a pill," said Hochul.
The 73-year-old physician, who authorities say was known on the street as "Dr. Feel Good," appeared before a judge in federal court.
"Today I can say proof positive that we did get the head of the snake, and boy did we get the supplier," said Chella.
Hochul says in 2009, Dr. Mehta prescribed almost twice as many pills as all the other prescribers of Niagara County combined.