Philadelphia Inquirer - November 22, 1980

Penna. Says 3 used Phils’ names to get drugs

 

By Steve Twomey and Vernon Loeb, Inquirer Staff Writers

 

A Reading physician and two other men were accused yesterday of illegally prescribing and obtaining amphetamines in the last two years by using the names of five players for the world-champion Philadelphia Phillies, a former player and two players' wives.

 

State officials said that there was "no evidence" that any of those associated with the Phillies – players Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, Greg Luzinski, Randy Lerch and Larry Christenson; former player Tim McCarver, and Jean Luzinski and Sheena Bowa, wife of Larry Bowa – knew that their names were being used on prescriptions to obtain the drugs, which are stimulants whose distribution is controlled by state law.

 

All eight said they had no doctor-patient relationship with the physician, Dr. Patrick A. Mazza, and had received no amphetamines from him, according to a spokesman for the state attorney general's office.

 

All eight are expected to testify for the state in any hearings or trials resulting from the criminal complaint filed in Reading yesterday with District Magistrate Albert Gaspari, the attorney general's spokesman said. A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled Dec. 18 in Reading.

 

Last summer, newspaper reports of the investigation had said state officials were looking into the possibility that several players might have illegally obtained drugs. Those reports were vehemently denied by the players.

 

Mazza, 56, is the unofficial doctor for the Phillies' AA farm club in Reading, where Luzinksi and Lerch once played.

 

In the complaint, Mazza was accused of writing 23 prescriptions from mid-1978 to the spring of 1980 for 2,630 doses of four types of amphetamines and of making the prescriptions out to any of the eight associated with the Phillies.

 

Those prescriptions went "beyond the scope of the doctor-patient relationship, including prescribing drugs without first conducting the medical examination," the complaint said.

 

The complaint said that the prescriptions were taken to four Reading pharmacies by Robert L. Masley, 54, and his son, Robert M. Masley, 24, both of Reading, who usually indicated to the pharmacists that they were associated with the Phillies and would turn over the drugs to the players.

 

Mazza and the Masleys could not be reached for comment.

 

According to the complaint, the Masleys used their real names and sometimes dropped off the prescriptions and picked them up the next day. They brought in prescriptions roughly every two months, it indicated.

 

There was no explanation of why Mazza and the Masleys selected such easily remembered names for the prescriptions, nor what use was made of the drugs. The attorney general's spokesman said the investigation was "still open," although he declined to elaborate.

 

The complaint was the first action taken as a result of an investigation that became public knowledge in mid-summer with a flurry of nationwide newspaper articles. The initial story appeared in the Trenton Times, which reported in July that an unnamed Reading doctor was writing prescriptions for the players without performing medical examinations. A "runner" then picked up the pills and distributed them to the players, the paper said, quoting law-enforcement sources.

 

Among the players and wives named at that time were Greg and Jean Luzinksi, Rose, Larry and Shee-na Bowa, Lerch, Carlton, Christenson, McCarver and Mike Schmidt. Several of the players named complained bitterly at the time that the press had inaccurately and irresponsibly linked them to a drug case. The resentment also caused some of the players to cease talking to reporters for a while.

 

The scheme outlined in the criminal complaint, filed by state officers for the enforcement of drug laws," was essentially the same, with the important exception that the drugs apparently never went beyond the alleged runners, the two Masleys.

 

In addition, the complaint did not indicate that the names of Schmidt and Larry Bowa had ever been used to obtain the drugs.

 

In a statement, Phillies executive vice president William Giles said yesterday that he would not comment specifically on the complaint because he had not read it, but he added that "a thorough investigation into the matter was held last summer, and all of the Philadelphia Phillies players were found to have no involvement in the matter whatsoever."

 

When contacted at his home in Media. Schmidt, who had vehement ly denied the allegations when they surfaced, said of the state's complaint, "That's fine, that's good; I really don't care what they do I have no other comment. I just want to put it out of my mind."

 

McCarver, in a telephone interview, said he had no idea why his name might have been used in writing any prescriptions, but he declined further comment.

 

The others named yesterday could not be reached for comment.

 

The elder Masley was charged with 11 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraudulent means; his son, with 16 counts.

 

If convicted, Mazza could receive up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each of the 23 counts, and the Masleys could each receive a year in prison and a $5,000 fine on each count.

 

Authorities said that the investigation began when a routine check of records at Reading pharmacies uncovered prescriptions made out to the Phillies but with local addresses. The attorney general's spokesman said the suspicions of the investigators had been aroused because they did not think any of the ballplayers lived in Reading.

 

 

The subsequent investigation showed that many of the addresses given were nonexistent and that in several cases, they were the Masleys'.