Lakeland, Florida -- Dr. Aaron Roush was escorted out of his office by a Polk County Sheriff's Deputy on Thursday. The sign out in front of the South Florida Avenue business in Lakeland says Uphoria Medical Spa. And Sheriff Grady Judd says what went on behind the doors had much more to do with achieving a state of euphoria than with medicine.
"This guy is a bad guy, this guy is a dope dealer," Judd told reporters at a news conference outside of the building.
According to Judd, undercover detectives went to see the doctor several times and after complaining about pain, they walked out with prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone - powerful and addictive pain meds. All of this, Judd says, with little or no medical examination. Even when x-rays showed no medical problems, scripts were written.
"He looked at the x-ray, says 'looks fine to me' and gave her narcotics," explained Judd.
Roush has numerous arrests in both Hillsborough and Polk counties, including domestic violence and failing to pay child support. In 2007, he was also disciplined by the state for performing an unnecessary surgery on a patient. There are also active complaints with the state about Roush overprescribing pain pills.
"Here's what I'd like to say to those who regulate doctors, come on man - pay attention. This guy needs to be out of business," said Judd.
While walking past reporters Roush talked about operating once on Evel Knievel. He said he was chief resident at Tampa General when Knievel received his liver transplant.
However, when questioned, Roush had little to say about the allegations of pushing pills. "No more questions. Thank you," he said before getting into a sheriff's cruiser.
After Roush's arrest, some of his patients came to the office. One woman called him a "nice guy" and a "good doctor". Judd would disagree, "Here's the message: we have an appointment for this doctor at the county jail today."
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