SCARSDALE, N.Y. – A pair of Scarsdale residents were indicted in Manhattan on Tuesday after the New York City Drug Enforcement Agency busted them for running a pill mill that that “pumped out more than $77 million in painkillers onto the black market since 2009.”
According to a DEA spokesperson, Rogelio Lucas and his wife, Lydia Lucas were indicted for conspiracy and illegally selling prescription pills after being arrested at their Manhattan apartment Tuesday morning.
The Lucas’ have been charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, and 37 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance for allegedly selling oxycodone over the past six years.
The arrests came after a lengthy investigation by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Prescription Drug Investigation Unit, the DEA New York Division’s Tactical Diversion Squad and the NYPD.
The Lucas’ were set to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon at Manhattan Supreme Court.
“When Lucas first opened his medical practice on the Upper West Side, residents embraced the thought of a family doctor in the neighborhood,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said.
“But when Lucas’ illegal medical practices pushed residents out of his office, he replaced them with drug traffickers, exchanging medically unnecessary prescriptions for cash.”
“Law enforcement at all levels continue to investigate and arrest those responsible for enabling the opioid addict population by distributing heroin or diverted prescription pills throughout the community.”
Following the arrests, agents and investigators searched the doctor’s office – where Lydia was a manager – their Manhattan apartment and Black Birch Lane home in Scarsdale, where they found more than $600,000.
While operating the pill mill, which ran from Jan. 2, 2009 to May 13 of this year, the Lucas’ allegedly “churned out tens of thousands of prescriptions” in exchange for cash payments.
According to the DEA, “Lucas routinely wrote oxycodone prescriptions for individuals with no legitimate medical need for the pain medication. Meanwhile, his wife assisted in collecting approximately $120 for each office visit.”
Although they face 37 counts of illegal drug sales, the DEA estimates that Lucas was writing oxycodone prescriptions for as many as 50 individuals daily. Since the start of the pill mill, Lucas wrote nearly 25,000 oxycodone prescriptions, more than 75 percent of his total prescription count. The DEA estimate that the pills that Lucas prescribed have an estimated street value of nearly $77 million.
In a statement, Police Commissioner William Bratton credited the numerous law enforcement agencies that worked together to take down the Lucas’ pill mill.
“This doctor allegedly abused his position as a medical professional, profiting from the sale of prescriptions while fueling the supply of a highly addictive painkiller that has led to numerous overdose deaths.”