A Montgomery County doctor and his son surrendered to police Thursday morning after investigators discovered that they were supplying known drug addicts with large supplies of narcotics, according to authorities.
At least one person died of an overdose on Dr. Richard Ruth's drugs, police say.
Ruth, of Souderton, was performing insincere medical exams for drug seekers and then providing them with prescription drugs that often ended up being sold in large quantities on the street, police say.
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Ruth has been running this drug operation for years, authorities say. The lengthy police investigation into Ruth's alleged crimes was called "Operation Pill Pusher."
"We know that this community has been plagued by prescription drug abuse and overdoses and this was the go-to guy in the community," said District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
Ruth’s son, Michael Ruth, was his medical assistant.
"For them to come in and say he’s unlawfully doing things is just an atrocity," a teary-eyed Michael told NBC Philadelphia’s Denise Nakano.
Michael also faces charges in the drug scheme that involved charging patients for the narcotic prescriptions and insurance companies for the bogus office visits, police say.
Police were tipped off to Dr. Ruth’s drug dealing scheme when sources told them last September that they were able to obtain large amounts of oxycodone from the doctor.
In addition to providing drugs to people who dealt them on the street, Dr. Ruth ignored pleas from family members of the drug-addicted patients who asked him to stop prescribing drugs like Percocet and Oxycodone, police say.
Dr. Ruth was charged with more than 40 counts of fraud, knowingly prescribing to drug addicts, prescription fraud, and conspiracy, among others. His son Michael was charged with similar crimes.
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