Judge Neil Ross ordered Choy held without bail but indicated he could be released later on Thursday if a bail package was arranged, officials said.
Anthony M. DeStefano has been a reporter for Newsday since 1986 and covers law enforcement, criminal justice and legal affairs from its New York City offices.
Aware he was under investigation, Choy left his practice suddenly in June 2017, going to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, according to Hunt.
Investigators say from 2012 to 2017, Dr. Lawrence Choy prescribed almost 1 million pills known as the "Holy Trinity", an addictive deadly cocktail of Oxycodone, Xanax and the muscle relaxer Somo.
Three of the patients died of prescription overdoses.
Two of the deaths - Eliot Castillo, 35 and Michael Ries, 30 - suffered fatal overdoses within three days of receiving their prescriptions from Choy, the government alleges. Beginning in 2012, authorities say his prescribing practices changed dramatically, and he began issuing a high number of prescriptions for oxycodone and multiple prescriptions for controlled substances simultaneously to individual patients.
When these drugs are taken together, they are believed to increase the risk of overdose.
Choy also faces charges of reckless endangerment for the death of another patient, Daniel Barry, and eight living patients.
The cause of death was determined to be acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone and alprazolam. In addition, Choy allegedly prescribed addictive medications in inappropriately high dosages and pill counts and in potentially lethal combinations.
Ries, who worked in auto dealerships, died on March 23, 2014 at his family's home in Hauppauge, Long Island.
This "holy trinity" is becoming particularly popular as it is known to create a very addictive "high" alongside other extremely unsafe side effects, including depression of both the central nervous system and respiratory system.
He is charged with giving out illegal prescriptions to 14 patients and allegedly writing over 100 prescriptions for oxycontin in a single month.
That amounts to 24 pills per day for an entire month - as was prescribed. The investigation further revealed that Choy received reports about patients' involvement in accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, participation in substance abuse treatment programs, and receipt of prescriptions from other prescribers and continued to prescribe addictive medications to these patients.