The PCSO narcotics detectives arrested and charged Lakeland based, 44-year-old, Dr. Aaron Bran¬ham Roush with multiple counts of trafficking prescription drugs, overprescribing controlled substances, and prescribing them without doing the necessary medical examinations. Dr. Roush who had an office in the Uphoria Medical Spa located at 3510 South Florida Avenue, Suite 102, in Lakeland, was a surgeon but referred to himself as a pain management doctor.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said undercover detectives posing as patients visited Dr. Aaron Bran¬ham Roush and discovered that due examination and other required process of pain management were not followed, and pain pill were being prescribed in exchange for cash.
Two different undercover PCSO detectives made appointments with Dr. Roush and were seen by him in his office. They made five visits in all, four visits by one detective, and one visit by another and these visits were recorded. Here is a summary of the events based on the affidavits.
On November 30, 2012, the PCSO undercover detective “A” visited Dr. Roush at Uphoria Medical Clinic located at 3510 South Florida Avenue Suite 102 in Lakeland, and complained that her knee was troubling her a little bit and aching for no reason. Roush spoke with her in a private office not an exam room which didn’t have an exam table or any medical equipment, and did not take the detective’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure, height, or weight. Dr. Roush offered her something for pain, asked her to get an X-ray and visit him again. She further added that she got oxycodone from a friend and that she liked it and would be glad if he too prescribed the same. Dr. Roush wrote her a prescription for 60 count Hydrocodone pills, and 30 count Carisprodol pills. He further added that if she got an x-ray and came back he would write her a prescription for Oxycodone.
On December 12, 2012, undercover detective “A” went back to the clinic with an X-ray of her knee. This time to Dr. Roush didn’t take the detective’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure, height, or weight and met her in his private office. He said that that her X-ray looked normal but added that they could find something wrong if they pushed further. The detective went on to ask the doctor if she could get more Hydrocodone to which Dr. Roush replied, ‘Absolutely.’ He wrote her a prescription for 90 count Hydrocodone pills, and 60 count Oxycodone.
On February 14, 2013, undercover detective “A” went back to the clinic for a third visit. Dr. Roush met with the detective in his private office and didn’t examine her. She added that her knee felt the same and wanted to know if she could get a refill on the Hydrocodone and added that she was getting Oxycodone from a friend and asked for another prescription for the same. He gave her a prescription for 30 count Alprazolam or Xanax with 2 refills, 120 count Oxycodone, with 2 refills. He coached her by telling her to might have to get an MRI done on her knee to justify her use of Oxycodone.
On March 6, 2013 detective “A” went for a fourth visit and took undercover detective “B” along and told Dr. Roush she brought her friend with her who wanted a prescription for a controlled substance.
Dr. Roush met her in his private room and told her that he couldn’t remember what he had previously prescribed to her since he doesn’t keep copies of prescriptions he writes. He added that he would be more generous once she got the MRI. He wrote her a prescription for 90 count Oxycodone and added that she might need to have an MRI done on her knee to justify her use of Oxycodone.
He meets detective B who tells him that she wants a “legitimate prescription” for a controlled substance and he tells her to make an appointment and come back.
On March 12, 2013 – PCSO undercover detective “B” went back to the Uphoria Medical Clinic for a visit with Dr. Roush. As usual they meet in the office and Dr. Roush does not take the detective B’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure, height, or weight.
The detective tells Dr. Roush that she had an MRI done and discussed that they wouldn’t see much on the MRI. The detective asked Dr. Roush what he could prescribe to her anyway and he wrote detective B a prescription for 60 count Oxycodone.
If one visited Dr. Roush within 30-days period of any visit, he charged cash payments of $150.00, or $275.00 cash for a visit outside of 30 days.
Dr. Roush was crude and made lewd comments to both of the female undercover detectives. He checked with them if they were law enforcement officers and were wearing wires. he also asked if they knew about people being arrested for prescribing controlled narcotics.
Sheriff Grady Judd added that his detectives simply made appointments with Dr. Roush, and the physician handed over prescriptions for controlled narcotics; and now Dr. Roush was paying the price. He added that Dr. Roush was just a dope dealer with a criminal history and hoped that he never practices medicine again and the POSC would ensure that his license was taken away.
After serving a search warrant on Thursday, March 21, 2013, for Uphoria Medical Clinic, Dr. Aaron Roush was placed under arrest and charged with: three counts Trafficking in Hydrocodone (F-1), four counts Trafficking in Oxycodone (F-1), and four counts Assisting Another to Obtain Controlled Substance (F-3). Further investigation of his car revealed that on that day he had with him some methamphetamines, marijuana, Xanax, and Valium, all of it without a prescription. He was additionally charged for the possession of these illegal substances. Judd said he was appalled that someone like Roush was practicing medicine
This wasn’t the first-time Roush was arrested. He was arrested in 1997 for DUI and property damage. Later that year he was arrested for assault. Twice in 2006 he was arrested in Polk County for Domestic Violence and Violation of Injunction for Protection respectively. He was also jailed twice for nonpayment of child support in Polk County. First In 2010, where he was released from jail upon payment of $11,000 and later in 2012 he was released after payment of $9,000. In 2007 the state Department of Health had fined an administrative fee of $10,000 and ordered him to complete 25 hours of community service.
Two years later things just took a turn for worse when Port Tampa Bay workers saw the man bobbing in McKay Bay and assumed he was a swimmer, but it turned out to be Aaron Branham Roush who was not swimming but floating. The mysterious part was the former physician’s bicycle was chained up near the Boulevard and his clothes were neatly folded and stacked nearby.
Roush’s life was plagued with loss and legal trouble. Two years back Roush had lost his medical license for excessive prescription controlled substances to patients. The past decade was marred by the loss of his only brother, his only son and his only stalwart companion, a bichon frise named Duke. He hadn’t seen or met his daughter had left with his wife after bitter divorce nearly five years back and just a few months back he filed a domestic violence suit against his new girlfriend.
Roush’s father believes his son’s death was just a tragic accident and said that Roush was a strong swimmer, who would tell him about his midnight swims in the ocean. He further adds why would you chain your bike up or fold up your clothes if you were committing suicide and that one wouldn’t choose to drown as it is a rough way to go.
Tampa police didn’t find signs of foul play and cause of death is unclear, but were waiting for the toxicology report from the medical examiner’s office. Paul Roush said that investigators told him that his son could have drowned in a rip current or after some medical incident like a heart attack. He adds that one wouldn’t know what happened and that Roush went through some hard years and never got back on his feet.
Roush had completed seven years in the Army Reserves and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz and New York Medical College, followed by a surgical internship and residency through the University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital.
He had his share of legal woes starting with DUI arrest in 1997, to the 2013 undercover investigation into his medical practice that marked the end of his career. He pleaded guilty to a felony and was sentenced to five years of probation, which was scheduled to end March 2020. in July 2013, his 10-year-old son Hunter died in a boating accident in Winter Haven.
In June 2015, he voluntarily gave up his license to practice medicine. But things didn’t quite work in his favor when he was arrested in Polk County on August 23 for violating probation. According to his father, Aaron Roush planned on selling his downtown Tampa condo and moving to California to be closer to his mother. He was apparently in talks with Doctors Without Borders about a potential job and was accepted despite his history. His father adds sadly that Aaron was looking forward to it and he was hoping for Aaron to make a fresh start.