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Doctor enters guilty plea in prescription drug case

October 06, 2009|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg physician charged with felony conspiracy to obtain illegal drugs was allowed to plead guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge of false pretense in a brief hearing before Berkeley County Magistrate Randy Smith.

Dr. Robert William Phares, 39, of 53 Temptations Drive, was charged by Lt. Gary Harmison of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department in May along with Tressie Monene Duffy, 39, of 808 Jerry Court, Martinsburg.

Duffy, also a physician, faces felony charges of prescription fraud and conspiracy to commit prescription fraud in the case.

A preliminary hearing for Duffy is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. before Magistrate Sandy Miller.

Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Saunders and William Wilmot, Phares' attorney, worked out the deal that dismissed the felony charge, keeping Phares out of jail and off probation. Phares has to pay a $500 fine, Saunders said.

According to court records, Harmison was contacted May 29 by Lt. John Sherman Jr. of the Martinsburg Police Department. Sherman told the deputy that a prescription was called in to Moore's Pharmacy in the name of his wife, Angela Sherman.

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The prescriptions, called in by Phares, were for methotrexate and Cytotec, court records said.

Angela Sherman told police that she did not order the drugs from Phares.

Harmison said the pharmacist told him that Duffy picked up the methotrexate. The Cytotec prescription was not filled.

Phares told Harmison that he called in the prescription for Angela Sherman. He said he didn't know why Duffy picked it up, court records said.

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