Local/State

Dozens arrested in Pocono-area Oxycodone bust (PHOTOS)

Monday, April 01, 2013
Suspects in Pocono area drug ring bust

Patricia Rodriguez

Dozens of people have been arrested and charged with being part of Oxycodone drug rings that allegedly operated in the Poconos.

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The bust was part of Operation Script King, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office said.

The rings were allegedly responsible for the distribution of $2.1 million worth of Oxycodone in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Investigators say it all came out of the office of Dr. Hector Castro, an internal medical practitioner in Manhattan.

It was his officer manager, Patricia Valera-Rodriguez, who allegedly sold forged prescription sheets to 29-year-old Bryn Stevenson of Bartonsville and 44-year-old John Romagnolo of Cresco.

According to the Attorney General's office, intercepted conversations showed that Romagnolo and Stevenson both sent names and personal information of individuals to Valera-Rodriguez, who then wrote out prescriptions for Oxycodone in those names.

The hard copy prescriptions were then allegedly sold for $500 each.

Agents said that Romagnolo, who was known as the "Script King," traveled to New York and met Valera Rodriguez at least three times a week in order to obtain prescriptions.

Between March 2011 and December 2012, Romagnolo allegedly paid Valera-Rodriguez more than $30,000 for illegal prescriptions.

According to the criminal complaint, Stevenson preferred to have his prescriptions delivered to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania by Valera-Rodriguez's husband, Hector Rodriguez.

Once they had the prescriptions, Romagnolo and Stevenson allegedly employed numerous "runners" or "fillers," who filled the scripts at multiple pharmacies.

According to agents, the demand for Oxycodone in Northeastern Pennsylvania was so high that many pharmacies ran out of the drug or refused to fill prescriptions.

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pennsylvania, drugs, local/state
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