Popular NJ pharmacist nabbed in oxycodone drug bust

April 7, 2010 3:21:17 PM PDT
A neighborhood pharmacist in New Jersey is accused of running a $1 million a month prescription drug ring. Investigators say the pharmacist dispensed nearly half a million oxycodone pills in the last year alone. That pharmacist was among 19 people arrested Wednesday.

The top target of the "Operation Oxymoron" was longtime popular pharmacist Vincent Hsia, who investigators call the top distributor of illegal OxyContin and oxycodone in the country.

"Today, we have a legal criminal prescription for him, arrest and dismantlement," DEA agent John McCabe said.

A 15-month investigation by the DEA, FBI and several local agencies netted 19 people, $500,000, several weapons and proof, says the DEA, that Hsai and those who helped him were major national players.

Investigators say Hsai would fill prescriptions he knew were fake and have those under him sell individual pills on the street. The quantity, according to authorities, was 15,000 pills a week at $15 a pop. That's $225,000 every week, nearly a million a month.

People who rely on the Good Neighbor Pharmacy couldn't believe the news and had absolutely no hint anything like this was going on.

The Essex County sheriff says a bust of this size is so much more than just a feather in law enforcement's cap, it's actually saving lives. They say kids are getting hooked on drugs like this every day.