Oakton dentist faces federal drug charges

The woman told investigators she had never used prescription pain pills before meeting Oakton dentist Hamada Makarita, but on dates he would give her as many as five Vicodins or Valiums, they would drink and she would eventually pass out.

While the woman was in a stupor, federal prosecutors say, Makarita snapped photos of her wearing no clothing and later sent them in bragging e-mails to an employee at his highly regarded practice.

Makarita, 50, was arrested Thursday. Federal prosecutors and the FBI allege that he obtained nearly 2,000 prescription pain pills illegally and then distributed them to himself, patients and girlfriends.

Makarita was charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria with distributing a controlled substance and, if convicted, could face up to 20 years in prison. He was listed among the area’s best dentists by Washingtonian and Northern Virginia magazines.

Between 2007 and 2011, Makarita allegedly called in medically unnecessary prescriptions under the names of employees and patients, and then had those people return the pills to him, according to charging documents. Investigators said he also required patients to return unused drugs he had given them before dental procedures. The medications included powerful painkillers and sedatives such as Fentanyl, Percocet and Tylenol with codeine.

A confidential informant who was a former employee of Makarita’s told investigators that the dentist began taking prescription drugs in 2008 and 2009, while going through a divorce, according to court papers. The informant also told investigators that Makarita gave pills to his girlfriends before their dates.

The woman in the photos started as a patient of Makarita’s, but later had a sexual relationship with him that ended in 2008, according to charging documents. The woman told investigators that Makarita said narcotics “will make you feel better” and that he had pills at his home and in his pockets during dates.

The woman was addicted to narcotics and entered a drug treatment program in July 2010, according to charging documents. She told investigators that she did not recall Makarita taking nude pictures of her.

Another employee of Makarita’s told investigators that Makarita instructed him or her to lie to the FBI about the prescriptions when the dentist learned of the probe. Makarita allegedly said, “Tell them I wrote you some prescriptions for pain medications.”

Makarita was in court Thursday and said he would retain his own counsel, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was released on the conditions that he not write prescriptions, surrender his license to write them and submit to drug testing.

His next scheduled court appearance is Tuesday.

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