Pennsylvania Attorney General issues warning over drug ring as pharmacist thwarts crime in Ephrata

The Pennsylvania Attorney General confirms two people have been arrested in connection to a drug ring that is believed to be stretching across states. But, at this time, investigators have not released the names of the individuals involved.

The arrests were announced one day after a local pharmacist thwarted a crime in Ephrata involving the drug Promethazine with Codeine. Royer Pharmacy owner Donald Sherman spoke exclusively to FOX 43's Jamie Bittner on Thursday. Sherman said his store received a call around 5:30 p.m. on August 6 from a man who identified himself as "Dr. Barry Bul." The caller requested prescription refills for a personal patient who had moved to the Ephrata area. Sherman said he discovered "Dr. Barry Bul" was operating under  the name of a legitimate doctor named "Dr. Barry Bulls" of New York, who did not order the prescription. Investigators arrested a woman who tried to pick up the drugs. But, they are still investigating if the suspect, Rayel Fleming, is connected to the larger drug ring and if her name is actually Rayel Fleming.

READ PHARMACIST DONALD SHERMAN'S ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Meantime, the Pennsylvania Attorney General said Friday the larger drug ring under investigation involves Promethazine with Codeine and uses the names of doctors from New York and Pennsylvania to fill prescriptions. The phony scripts appear to be legitimate. The order is normally picked up by customers are not established at the pharmacy and the Attorney General believes many of the customers are from the Washington D.C. area.

“My Office has seen a recent spike in fraudulent prescriptions for Promethazine with Codeine, and we are asking all pharmacists to be on high alert and report any suspicious behavior so that we can put an end to this criminal operation,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Thanks to the work of vigilant pharmacists, we have already made two arrests in Lancaster County in connection with this ring. We’re grateful for the strong collaboration between local and state law enforcement, as well as the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, to work together to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands.”

The Pennsylvania Attorney General is now alerting all pharmacists who receive a prescription for Promethazine with Codeine from a non-established patient of the pharmacy to request identification from the customer. Pharmacists are also asked to verify the prescriptions by contacting the doctor directly.

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