Illegal pill scheme popped by feds

A 498-count indictment was unsealed yesterday charging 53 people in a drug conspiracy that allegedly garnered more than $5 million in less than three years and defrauded the federal government of an untold amount of money in health insurance payments.

William Stukes allegedly recruited patients for Dr. Norman Werther, who wrote fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone-based drugs. The “pseudo-patients” took the prescriptions to Northeast Pharmacy on Bustleton Avenue, where pharmacist Ihsanullah “Sean” Maaf allegedly filled them.

The patients paid for the drugs using cash, private insurance or Medicaid, then allegedly turned the drugs over to Stukes for resale on the street. His organization allegedly distributed over 200,000 pills in Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

Forty-four of the 53 defendants were arrested yesterday. The other nine are fugitives.

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