What to Know
- A New Jersey doctor was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for supplying a drug ring with tens of thousands of opioid pain pills
- Dr. George Beecher, 78, of New Providence, an ear, nose and throat specialist will remain free on bail while he pursues an appeal
- Beecher pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree conspiracy, distribution of controlled dangerous substance (oxycodone) and surrendered medical license
A New Jersey doctor was sentenced to state prison for supplying a drug ring with tens of thousands of opioid pain pills, the state’s attorney general announced Tuesday.
Dr. George Beecher, 78, of New Providence, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. However, the judge allowed Beecher to remain free on bail while pursues an appeal of his conviction.
Beecher, an ear, nose and throat specialist who had a practice in Warren, pleaded guilty on Sept. 19 to second-degree conspiracy and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (oxycodone) and surrendered his medical license as a result of the guilty plea.
Beecher’s charges were a result of the investigation dubbed “Operation Busted Script,” which was led by the Attorney General’s Prescription Fraud Investigation Strike Team — a group of detectives and attorneys in the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau that targets corrupt healthcare professionals and “pill mills.”
Prosecutors say that Beecher wrote prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose for tens of thousands of oxycodone pills in the names of people he never examined, treated or met.
Seven other members of the pill distribution ring were indicted separately and pleaded guilty to second-degree charges of conspiracy and distribution of oxycodone.
“Doctors like Beecher who prescribe opioids for illegal distribution are at least as culpable as the drug dealers they supply, because they use their licenses not to heal, but to inflict incalculable harm,” Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said. “This prison sentence reflects our determination to stop the doctors and pill mills supplying the black market for opioid pain pills, which are starting so many users on the devastating and often deadly path of opioid addiction.”
Beecher’s attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.