Pharmacist, Nine Others Arrested In Multi-State Prescription Drug Sweep
June 28 (Trenton, NJ) – Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Paul J. Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced Randy Binder, 59, a Monmouth County, New Jersey pharmacist who allegedly dispensed oxycodone pills illegally was arrested this morning as part of a multi-state drug sweep along with two other New Jersey residents and seven Myrtle Beach, South Carolina residents.
The 10 defendants were arrested New Jersey and South Carolina by members of the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad and special agents of the FBI. Binder is expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert in Trenton federal court. Aversa and Mazzara made their initial appearances before Judge Arpert on Wednesday. The remaining defendants appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Thomas E. Rogers III in Florence, S.C., federal court.
According to the complaint unsealed today:
Oxycodone, the active ingredient in brand name pills such as OxyContin, Roxicodone and Percocet, is a Schedule II controlled substance – meaning that it has a high potential for abuse. Demand for oxycodone-based prescription pain medication has grown to epidemic proportions in the United States, and dealers profit by selling such medication on the street. Users will often crush and snort the pills or dissolve and inject them to get an immediate high. This abuse can lead to addiction, overdose and death.
Since at least January 2009, Richard and Mindy Rublowitz worked at a doctor’s office in Oakhurst, N.J. Richard Rublowitz was the office manager and Mindy Rublowitz was the receptionist. Although they were both full-time residents of South Carolina, Richard and Mindy Rublowitz would frequently travel to New Jersey to work at the doctor’s office.
Law enforcement obtained information from numerous confidential sources who alleged the doctor did not perform a full medical examination on them during their initial visit and typically did not perform any examinations or tests during subsequent visits. The confidential sources would receive prescriptions for oxycodone pills. Often, with the approval of the doctor, Richard Rublowitz would allegedly write the prescriptions himself and hand them to the confidential sources. Richard Rublowitz also allegedly filled prescriptions for oxycodone pills, and then sold the pills. Law enforcement observed Richard Rublowitz engage in what appeared to be drug sales at various locations in New Jersey, including hotels and rest stops along the Garden State Parkway.
According to pharmacy records obtained by the DEA, large numbers of prescriptions have been issued by the doctor for oxycodone pills in the names of several of the defendants, as well as their relatives.
In May and June 2012, a wiretap was conducted on Richard Rublowitz’s cell phone. Numerous conversations were recorded on the wiretap between Richard Rublowitz and the other defendants named in the Complaint. The wiretap calls between Richard Rublowitz and Randy Binder (who is a pharmacist at the Texas Road Pharmacy at 300 Gordon’s Corner Road in Manalapan) revealed that Randy Binder would illegally distribute oxycodone and other pharmaceutical pills to Richard Rublowitz and other co-conspirators in exchange for cash and other non-monetary compensation. Rublowitz gave hockey playoff tickets to Binder in exchange for pills. Binder would meet Richard Rublowitz and other co-conspirators in the parking lot of Texas Road Pharmacy to provide them with pills, or would leave the pills in a car in the parking lot, which the co-conspirators would then pick up. Binder would also accept prescriptions which he knew to be either counterfeit or stolen.
The conspiracy count with which the defendants are charged is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $2 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the N.J. DEA Tactical Diversion Squad and the FBI with the investigation leading to arrests. The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad is composed of DEA special agents, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, diversion investigators and intelligence analysts; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, and IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; and local law enforcement officers. He also thanked the Deputy U.S. Marshals who assisted in the arrests.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan W. Romankow and R. Joseph Gribko and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tino Lisella. The charge and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.