LUTHERVILLE, Md. (WJZ)– Authorities say powerful painkillers and narcotics were being sold without legal prescriptions at the so-called “pill mill” being operated in Baltimore County. Now, a judge sets bail for two of the men involved.
Weijia Jiang has the latest on the case.
WJZ learned in court that the men accused are high rollers with a lot of money and several properties. Prosecutors asked that both be held in police custody, calling their so-called business “very dangerous.”
Federal investigators say Michael Reznikov, 51, and Gerald Wiseberg, 78, are the cash and brains behind a massive pill mill in Lutherville– the Healthy Life Medical Group.
“These are the bad guys,” legal analyst Joel Denning said.
The pair faced a judge Thursday morning, who set each of their bails at $50,000 cash.
Legal analyst Joel Denning, who represents prescription drug addicts, expects a swift conviction.
“I think they’re going to have an uphill battle because they did it for the money,” Denning said.
The indictment says the clinic saw up to 120 patients a day who each paid at least $300 for OxyContin. That’s $9 million a year, all made at one office on York Road.
“They’re prescribing pills for non-medical purposes,” Carl Kotowski of the Baltimore Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said.
The building houses several other medical offices. Everyone WJZ spoke with says from the first day Healthy Life moved in, they knew what was going on behind that door.
“It’s been extremely stressful, it’s been frightening,” Dr. Bonnie Culbertson said.
Culbertson says she was afraid to come in and leave work, that the parking lot was always filled with cars from out-of-state, sometimes 70 in one day.
“With very sketchy characters coming into, sitting around the parking lot, spending the night, sleeping in their cars,” she said.
DEA agents believe customers both used the drugs and sold them on the street illegally.
But attorneys for Wiseburg and Reznikov insist they did nothing wrong.
“He has absolutely indicated to us he intends to plead not guilty and we’re going to fight with the state,” Wiseberg’s defense attorney James Gitomer said.
Right now, Reznikov is a free man but Wiseberg has yet to post bail. The judge also ordered both men to turn over their passports so they can’t leave the country before trial.
There’s also a warrant out for the arrest of Reznikov’s wife.