The owner of the Olde Medford Pharmacy, charged with selling painkillers illegally, is expected back in his store after bail was set in U.S. District Court on Thursday - but he won't be filling any prescriptions.
Michael Ludwikowski, 44, of Medford, appeared before Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider in Camden and agreed not to sell prescription drugs at the pharmacy.
Federal prosecutors allege the pharmacy was used as a pill mill, fueling addicts in South Jersey and Philadelphia with oxycodone and other strong painkillers.
Shortly after Ludwikowski agreed to a long list of conditions for his release on $100,000 bail, David Goldfield, 58, of Medford Lakes - a pharmacist who worked for Ludwikowski - appeared in court.
Goldfield also was charged with selling drugs illegally. However, he did not request bail.
Goldfield's attorney, Gilbert J. Scutti, told the judge there were serious concerns about his client's mental health since his arrest Monday.
Goldfield is segregated from the general prison population, monitored, and receiving services he would not otherwise receive if released and forced to live alone in a motel, Scutti said.
The judge agreed to keep Goldfield jailed, stipulating that he could request bail later.
The conditions of Ludwikowski's release were more complicated.
Although Ludwikowski was the owner of the two pharmacies named in the indictment, Olde Medford on Stokes Road and Medford Family Pharmacy on Old Marlton Pike, the second shop has since merged with Olde Medford and the store on Old Marlton Pike is closed, said Ludwikowski's attorney, Edwin J. Jacobs.
Ludwikowski is also majority owner of Main Pharmacy in Vineland, N.J., which sells prescription medications but not addictive painkillers, Jacobs said.
Ludwikowski, who is divorced and has two children, requested permission to work at Old Medford while another pharmacist operates the Vineland store.
Although he has surrendered the federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration needed to sell painkillers at Olde Medford, he still holds his pharmacist license, Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin C. Danilewitz told the judge. That means, Danilewitz said, Ludwikowski legally could sell drugs at a store that holds a DEA registration.
"We will agree not to do that," Jacobs said. "He's got enough headaches."
According to the indictment, the two pharmacies named in it had repeatedly been approved by a national drug distributor for purchases of above-normal limits of painkillers.
Investigators allege the two men sold tens of thousands of pills to addicted customers, some using phony prescriptions.
Both men, the indictment said, filled prescriptions knowing the pills were not for legitimate medical purposes, and customers often paid in cash.
On Thursday, the judge told Ludwikowski that if he violated the conditions of release, his bail would be revoked and he would face additional charges. Among the conditions of his release, Ludwikowski may not consume alcohol or drugs, must submit to urine screens, and cannot travel out of New Jersey other than to meet with his attorney or visit his mother, both in Philadelphia.