Lansdowne osteopath Dr. Lenwood Wert, 79, was charged yesterday with 536 felonies for allegedly selling controlled substance prescriptions, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced on Wednesday.
"Dr. Wert is no different than a drug dealer standing on the corner. In fact, he's worse because he's operating under the guise of a medical professional," Whelan said.
Wert allegedly sold narcotic prescriptions for cash from his office on Lansdowne Avenue, continuing to provide patients with pain medications like oxycodone even after they had overdosed.
Officers with the Delaware County Narcotics Task Force launched an investigation of Wert's practice last November.
Two undercover investigators said they observed that a large number of the doctor's patients appeared to be drug-addicted and overheard in the waiting room discussions about the sale of the scripts and controlled substances.
They also claim they were able to easily obtain prescriptions for oxycodone, anti-anxiety medication Xanax and muscle relaxant Soma without having any medical need for the drugs by paying $150 cash for an initial appointment and $100 for each subsequent visit.
Wert allegedly told one officer that "we need a revolution in this country" because it has too many rules and advised another only to fill his scripts at a mom and pop pharmacy, as many of the large chains were suspicious of the high dosages he prescribed.
Police seized $500,000 in cash and numerous firearms from Wert's home and residence.
A judge on Wednesday set bail at $500,000.
Wert is next due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 23.