Man convicted of running narcotics mill in Tredyffrin home office

Posted: February 03, 2011

After more than 51/2 hours of deliberations Wednesday, a Chester County court jury convicted a Strafford man of running a narcotics mill from his Tredyffrin Township home office.

Richard A. Brown, 67, was found guilty of all 16 counts of illicit drug sales by the jury of seven men and five women. Brown, who has battled the joint prosecution by the offices of the state attorney general and the Chester County district attorney for 31/2 years, watched without showing any emotion as the verdict was read.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher L. deBarrena-Sarobe then sought a bail increase. He argued that Brown, who has been free on his own recognizance, could be a flight risk, since some of his convictions carry minimum mandatory prison terms.

Defense attorney Stephen I. Baer disagreed, saying Brown had always appeared when required.

"I know he wants to appeal the jury verdict," Baer said. "He's not a flight risk."

Chester County Court Judge Ronald C. Nagle set bail at $50,000 cash and gave Brown 24 hours to post it, which Baer said would not be a problem.

Brown came to the attention of authorities more than a decade ago. In December 2001, police began an investigation after Brown, who held a Pennsylvania medical license, was accused of prescribing Percocet and Xanax without even cursory medical exams.

During an undercover probe, Brown was found to have written more than 90 prescriptions - 7,000 pills' worth - to "an individual who is clearly a drug abuser," and written 13 Percocet prescriptions, which totaled 800 pills, to undercover officers, police said.

After pleading no contest to a single violation, Brown received a sentence of five years' probation in May 2003. His medical license was later suspended.

After the proceeding, Senior Deputy Attorney General Nancy S. Hartsough said the verdict was particularly welcome, because she had to cancel plans to deliver the prosecution's closing argument because her mother died Tuesday.

"It's been a tough week, so I'm glad justice prevailed," she said.

Baer said he was disappointed. "However, I respect the decision of the jury," he said.

Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3815 or


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