DEA and FBI Agents Arrest Matawan Man and Nine Others in Multi-State Drug Bust
Investigators say the ten were arrested for conspiring to distribute narcotics
A Matawan man who works as a pharmacist in Manalapan was arrested this morning on charges he allegedly dispensed oxycodone pills illegally. His arrest was part of a multi-state drug sweep that resulted in the arrest of two other New Jersey residents and seven South Carolina residents, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Randy Binder, 59, of Matawan, turned himself in and was arrested and charged today in a federal complaint, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Also arrested by the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad and special agents of the FBI were Joseph Aversa, 30, of Ventnor, N.J.; Scott Mazzara, 33, of Lanoka Harbor, N.J.; Richard Rublowitz, 57, and his wife Mindy Rublowitz, 55; Matthew Rublowitz, 33; Sean Rublowitz, 25, and his girlfriend Kristin Jacobs, 26; and Justin Rublowitz, 31, and his wife, Jacklyn Rublowitz, 30. Matthew, Sean and Justin are the sons of Richard and Mindy Rublowitz.
The Rublowitz family and Kristin Jacobs were apprehended in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
All of the defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, the press release said.
According to investigators, Richard and Mindy Rublowitz worked in a doctor's office in Oakhurst since Jan. 2009. Richard worked as the office manager and Mindy as the receptionist. Although they were both residents of South Carolina, the pair would allegedly travel regularly to New Jersey and work in the doctor's office, the release said.
Unidentified sources told law enforcement agents that the doctor allegedly did not perform full medical examinations prior to or after prescribing oxycodone to patients, according to the release. Investigators say Richard Rublowiz was the one who allegedly wrote the precriptions and gave them to the unidentified sources after allegedly receiving doctor approval.
According to investigators, Richard also allegedly filled prescriptions for oxycodone and then sold the pills in various locations in New Jersey, including hotels and rest stops on the Garden State Parkway.
Pharmacy records obtained by the DEA indicate large numbers of prescriptions have been issued by the doctor for oxycodone pills in the names of several of the defendants, as well as their relatives, according to the press release.
In May and June 2012, a wiretap was conducted by investigators on Richard’s cell phone. Investigators say numerous calls were recorded between Richard and Randy Binder, who is a pharmacist at the Texas Road Pharmacy at 300 Gordon’s Corner Road in Manalapan. The recorded calls allegedly indicate that Binder would unlawfully distribute oxycodone and other pharmaceutical pills to Richard and the other defendants in exchange for cash or other non-monetary compensation, such as tickets to sporting events.
Investigators say that Binder would allegedly meet Richard and other defendants in the parking lot of Texas Road Pharmacy to provide them with pills, or would allegedly leave the pills in a car in the parking lot for the other defendants to pick up. Binder also allegedly accepted prescriptions which he knew to be either counterfeit or stolen, according to the press release.
Richard and the other defendants are also accused of allegedly obtaining oxycodone from Binder and from other pharmacies in New Jersey and then shipping the pills to Myrtle Beach where the Rublowitz family would allegedly sell the oxycodone. Investigators say that between Aug. 2009 and May 2012, about 190 packages were mailed to the defendants in South Carolina.
According to the press release, one of the packages was intercepted on Dec. 16, 2011 during a random spot inspection. The package allegedly contained 379 oxycodone pills.
Investigators say the wiretap calls also allegedly revealed that Justin and Jackie Rublowitz would manufacture counterfeit prescriptions at their home in South Carolina, which Richard Rublowitz and other co-conspirators would use in New Jersey to obtain pills.
Binder is expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert in Trenton federal court. Aversa and Mazzara made their initial appearances before Judge Arpert on Wednesday. The remaining defendants appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Thomas E. Rogers III in Florence, S.C., federal court, the release said.
The conspiracy count with which the defendants are charged is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $2 million fine, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the N.J. DEA Tactical Diversion Squad and the FBI with the investigation leading to arrests. The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad is composed of DEA special agents, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, diversion investigators and intelligence analysts; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, and IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; and local law enforcement officers. He also credited the Deputy U.S. Marshals who assisted in the arrests.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan W. Romankow and R. Joseph Gribko and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tino Lisella.
Charges do not indicate a conviction.