He was the face of the Quality Diagnostic Sleep Center in Bel Air, Dr. Thomas Burke, but raids on the office and his waterfront condo in Havre de Grace have now led to his arrest.
"It's like a can't believe it. He seemed like a square guy to me," said Edward Bean who was one of Burke’s patients.
A square guy with a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine pedigree who allegedly obstructed justice as drug agents closed in on his live-in girlfriend, 33-year-old Linsday Nichole Smith.
"We suspect that a doctor was prescribing unauthorized prescriptions to a person who was then redistributing them on the street illegally," said Cpl. Daniel Petz of the Havre de Grace Police Department.
It's alleged beginning in August of last year, agents tracked the sale of the illegal drugs, before moving in to search the couple's home and the sleep center last week.
"The investigation now doesn't hinge on any people working here, none of the staff, none of the patients," said Sharon Tselepis, one of the owners of the sleep center, which is now searching for a physician to replace burke and to handle its thousands of patients, "We had no idea at all. It was also something I guess that was going on quietly and he was very successful at keeping it quiet. We don't keep drugs here at all. It would be a prescription that's written and it's really, in a sleep study, there's very little it the way of prescriptions that would have to be written."
To date, Burke has not yet been formally charged with writing bogus prescriptions or supplying his girlfriend, but we're told the investigation is far from over and more charges could be forthcoming.
"I've never had any trouble with him,” said Bean, “As a matter of fact, I followed him from his old location. He had a flier up that said he'd moved, and I tracked him down. If I wasn't satisfied with him, I wouldn't have come back."
Burke has been released after posting his $50,000 bail, and then we're told he coordinated the release of his girlfriend who was being held on $30,000.
According to court documents, she must seek treatment for her addiction as a condition of her release