MONROE COUNTY — The two alleged ring-leaders live in Monroe County in unsuspecting neighborhoods where children run and play.
Reaction from their neighbors is one of shock and disbelief.
There’s a wreath on the front door of the home in Bartonsville where Bryn Stevenson lives and some children’s bikes and toys in the back.
It is a quiet area, not a hub for prescription drug trafficking, says one neighbor who did not want to be identified.
“It’s just a shock because it’s a quiet neighborhood and we really don’t see activity that could be sordid or anything like that.”
“Really surprised, that’s the last thing I would think about that would be happening up here. It’s so quiet you never hear anything, so I’m very surprised,” said James Bullock of Mount Pocono.
Investigators say Stevenson and John Romagnolo of Cresco paid to get forged prescription sheets from a doctor’s office in New York City. The sheets were then delivered to meeting places all over Monroe County, including Stevenson’s mother’s house in East Stroudsburg, used as a meeting place, or sales and exchanges of thousands of oxycodone prescriptions, according to investigators.
The illegal prescriptions would then be filled at pharmacies and the pills sold on the street for $20 to $30 apiece.
The pharmacist at Andrew Brown’s in Scranton says the prescription drug problem is growing here in northeastern Pennsylvania. He says fake prescriptions pop up often, and pharmacists are trained in what to watch for.
“We do see it a lot of times here. There’s been within the last year, occasionally you’ll see prescriptions from out of town doctors, that patients – one red flag is – patients usually just want to pay in cash,” said pharmacist Michael Brown.
Brown says pharmacists are required to report any suspicious prescriptions to authorities.