TUNKHANNOCK – A dentist who owns a practice in Wyoming County was open for business Tuesday and seeing patients despite charges from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
Dr. Sare Rhodes is now facing charges for prescribing oxycodone without any medical reason and then not keeping the proper records.
The attorney general’s office says Rhodes had been writing prescriptions for the painkiller for her husband, mother-in-law, stepfather and other family members and friends since 2009.
Neighbors living across the street from the dentist’s office are more than shocked.
"Very surprising, I do know a couple people that use her, and they've never had any complaints," said Marcella Jervis of Tunkhannock.
According to court papers, Dr. Rhode’s patients and family members were filling prescriptions at this CVS in Tunkhannock, but when pharmacists started asking questions, Rhodes’ patients went to other pharmacies.
The court documents also say 10 different individuals were filling prescriptions in more than a dozen pharmacies across Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming and Susquehanna counties raising some suspicion.
"I'm surprised, but I'm not surprised," said Joseph Neeld of Tunkhannock.
Neeld lives a few houses down from the dentist’s office and says this problem is becoming more and more common.
"It's so widespread that I think law enforcement can't possibly cope with it. They just can't. It's everywhere," said Neeld.
Despite facing charges from the attorney general's office, Dr. Rhodes is still seeing patients here at her office in Tunkhannock. The dentist had no comment about the allegations.
Michael Parduski left his appointment with Dr. Rhodes only to learn of the charges his dentist of about four years is facing.
"Surprised, I didn't know it was going on, I never had any personal experiences like this but I'm sure I'll let some people know about it,” said Parduski.
Other patients and neighbors wonder why this dentist and mother began writing the scripts in the first place.
"All I know is there is a lot of that going on not only in Wyoming County but in surrounding counties too," said Jervis.
Rhodes was arraigned on 10 counts of distributing and prescribing oxycodone to drug dependents and 10 counts of failing to keep proper records.
We attempted to contact the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs and the DEA to see if Rhodes’ dentistry licenses were still in good standing and are waiting to hear back.