46-year-old Edward Baker sits in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. Baker, a former prosecutor in Pennsylania, admits he sold dilaudid and valium, some of the strongest prescription drugs available.
Baker says he suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy which causes intense burning sensations. "It feels like my nerves are on fire. It's like sitting in a house that's burning and not being able to get out."
Baker's behind bars for allegedly selling some of his pills for ten bucks a pop. Police say he dealt the drugs out of his Norfolk apartment.
According to a search warrant, he had a tremendous supply of pills, prescribed by his psychiatrist in Virginia Beach. The prescription was filled by a pharmacist at a Wal-Mart in Norfolk.
The amount was 750 dilaudid tablets and 500 valium for a total of 1,250 tablets. And he got that amount filled every 15 days. At that rate, Baker would have to take in the neighborhood of 83 pills a day.
Wal-mart did not return our calls.
Some pharmacists say a prescription for that amount should have raised some eyebrows. But the Board of Medicine points out that doctors, according to the Code of Virginia, can prescribe pain relievers "in excess of the recommended dosage for medicinal or therapeutic purposes."
Baker says he took 57 pills a day for his pain.
He says he didn't sell the other pills for the money. He says he wanted to make a statement. "It has to do with the evolution of consciousness. Okay?"
Police said Baker was often armed and had two guns when he sold drugs to an undercover cop. "I've been in a state of siege mentality for nine years now. It just occurred to me today what the hell was going on."
There may be an investigation, perhaps by the Board of Medicine, into whether Baker should have been prescribed 1,250 tablets of powerful medication every fifteen days.