A New Jersey doctor has been accused of writing oxycodone prescriptions to patients he never examined as part of a drug ring that poured thousands of tablets of the powerful narcotics onto the streets, state prosecutors say.
George Beecher, of New Providence, was arrested Wednesday on conspiracy and drug distribution charges in connection with a drug ring operating in central New Jersey between Jan. 2013 and October, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Five other people – Andrew Stoveken, of Edison, George Sara, of Borden Town, Jared and John Burnham of ,South Plainfield, and their sister Marlena Burnham, of Piscataway – were also arrested on drug charges. A sixth suspect is being sought by police.
“We allege this doctor and his criminal associates were heartlessly cashing in on the epidemic of opiate abuse in our communities, where users frequently start with the potent pain pills this ring distributed and then are sucked into a dark void of addiction, heroin use, and, far too often, death,” said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.
Authorities say that Beecher allegedly wrote prescriptions for 30mg oxycodone prescriptions for so-called patients that he hadn’t actually examined. John Burnham would then coordinate the prescriptions to be delivered to the people whose names were listed, who would fill them in exchange for some combination of cash and pills.
John Burnham is also accused of enlisting Stoveken, who ran a hearing aid company next door to Beecher’s office, Sara, and his siblings to fill prescriptions and distribute the drugs.
Authorities say that the drug ring put 60,000 tablets of oxycodone onto the streets of New Jersey over a two-year period.
Attorney information for the suspects wasn’t immediately available.