Pharmacist Admits Illegally Distributing Oxycodone From Medford, New Jersey ‘Pill Mills’
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, pharmacist today admitted his role in a long-running conspiracy to illegally distribute and dispense large quantities of oxycodone and other controlled substances from two pharmacies located in Medford, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
David Goldfield, 58, of Medford Lakes, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to Count 1 of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to illegally distribute and dispense oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances, and Counts 10 through 15, which charge him with multiple substantive counts of illegal distribution and dispensing of oxycodone.
The guilty plea comes just six weeks after Goldfield and Michael Ludwikowski, 44, of Medford, were arrested on Nov. 14, 2016.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Goldfield was employed by Ludwikowski at Olde Medford Pharmacy and Medford Family Pharmacy. Goldfield admitted that from January 2010 through August 2013, he conspired with Ludwikowski to distribute and dispense oxycodone for individuals they knew were obtaining the pain killers for resale or for non-medical use.
Goldfield admitted, based upon his training and experience, as well as the “red flags” he observed, it was obvious that many of the oxycodone prescriptions that Goldfield and Ludwikowski filled were fraudulent. These red flags included prescriptions for oxycodone that appeared to have been “washed” or “bleached.” According to the indictment, this was achieved through a chemical process that removed the original writing for a non-narcotic substance. The customers then rewrote the prescriptions for their drug of choice, including oxycodone.
Other red flags included customers who were believed to be drug addicts, or believed to be selling or abusing the oxycodone; customers seeking oxycodone with residential addresses far from the Medford area, including for example, Camden, New Jersey; the same customer presenting oxycodone prescriptions in numerous different names, including the names of both men and women; and customers presenting oxycodone prescriptions for a 30-day supply multiple times a week.
On occasions that Goldfield had suspicions about the legitimacy of particular prescriptions, Ludwikowski allegedly told Goldfield to fill some of those prescriptions anyway. In addition, Goldfield admitted that he and Ludwikowski stored bottles of oxycodone in a pull-out drawer to which pharmacy employees working at the front counter would have easy access, rather than in a locked safe.
When Ludwikowski became concerned with the high number of oxycodone prescriptions that were being filled, Ludwikowski and Goldfield – in an attempt to evade law enforcement – turned away customers who were bringing in fraudulent prescriptions by telling them that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had reduced their supply of oxycodone.
The conspiracy charge and each substantive count of illegal distribution and dispensing of oxycodone charge to which Goldfield pleaded guilty carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for March 31, 2017.
The allegations against Ludwikowski are merely accusations, and he is innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; the DEA New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; the Medford Police Department under the direction of Chief Richard J. Meder; the Moorestown Police Department under the direction of Chief Lee R. Lieber; the Florence Police Department under the direction of Chief John Bunce; and the Lumberton Police Department under the direction of Chief Tony Diloreto, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin C. Danilewitz and Senior Litigation Counsel Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Devlin of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
Defense counsel: Gilbert J. Scutti, Esq.