An aged New York doctor and his wife were arrested at their Upper West Side home on Tuesday, accused of supplying the city’s black market with over 3 million oxycodone pills since 2009, USA Today reports.
77-year-old Rogelio Lucas and 79-year-old Lydia Lucas have each been charged with one count of conspiracy and 37 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance for their alleged roles in a “pill mill” that prosecutors say provided drug rings with $7.7 million in illegal narcotics. From the NY Post:
Between 45 and 50 people who served as “runners” for the drug rings would routinely pick up prescriptions each day, then get them filled at local pharmacies and turn over the pills to the dealers, authorities said.
Lydia served as “the brains behind the operation,” scheduling appointments, maintaining files and collecting $120 in cash for each bogus script, Manhattan prosecutor Ryan Sakacs said.
“Dr. Lucas is charged with being one of the city’s most prolific illegal prescribers of the black market’s favorite pill — 30 mg oxycodone,” said New York’s special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan. “Instead of healing, doctors who routinely sign orders for unneeded narcotic drugs endanger the health and welfare of the public.”
Authorities say the couple also has homes in Florida, Hawaii and Arizona, where investigators seized $600,000 in cash.
[Image via New York DEA]