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Fast-acting Pharmacist tips local investigators off to woman who may be part of multi-state drug ring

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– The state attorney general’s office is crediting an Ephrata pharmacist with tipping them off to a fake prescription ca...
rayel fleming


LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.-- The state attorney general's office is crediting an Ephrata pharmacist with tipping them off to a fake prescription call that led to the arrest of a woman who investigators claim may be part of a wider multi-state drug ring.

Pharmacist Donald Sherman spoke exclusively to FOX 43. He is the owner of Royer Pharmacy. Sherman said his store received the call around 5:30 p.m. on August 6 from a man who identified himself as "Dr. Barry Buls." The caller requested prescription refills for a personal patient who had moved to the Ephrata area. According to the criminal complaint, the caller requested:

  • Promethazine with codeine (360mL)
  • Ibuprophen (800mL)
  • Benzonatate (200mL)
  • Relenza

The requested amount of Promethazine was nearly double the amount usually requested by doctors.

"Typically you would see maybe 4 to 6 ounces," Sherman said. "You never see 12 ounces. That's a really dumb quantity."

Sherman said he immediately became suspicious, especially because days earlier he had received a warning over a fraudulent prescription drug ring from the Pennsylvania office of the Attorney General. The warning said the ring used names of real doctors from New York to Philadelphia to obtain prescription drugs. The office of the Attorney General  also confirmed to FOX43's Jamie Bittner that investigators believe the drugs are used to make 'purple drank,' a syrup.

Sherman contacted the legitimate Dr. Barry Buls of New York, only to uncover that the doctor was real but the caller he spoke to and the prescription that was requested was fake. Buls said that this had been going on since April from New York to Washington, and it was the second call of the day he had received about fraudulent prescriptions using his name.

Meantime, police said around 7:00 p.m. a woman who goes by the name of Rayel Fleming showed up at Sherman's store to pick up the fraudulent prescription. Sherman said Fleming had no ID and had no insurance card.

Investigators are still working to confirm if Fleming is the woman's real name and if she is part of the drug ring being investigated by the state Attorney General.

Fleming is reportedly being held at Lancaster County Prison unable to post $200,000 bail.