Criminal Justice

Lawyer charged in drug case, accused of taking prescription pills for legal fee

A successful Pennsylvania criminal defense and bankruptcy attorney is facing a felony drug case after allegedly selling approximately 180 prescription Oxycodone pills to an undercover Philadelphia police officer on two occasions.

Authorities say Gregory Noonan, 53, had just seen a client physician convicted Nov. 22 at trial on similar charges when the first transaction occurred on Nov. 23, according to the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch, the Pennsylvania Record and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The lawyer was arrested after a second transaction with an undercover officer allegedly occurred on Dec. 19 in Noonan’s 1997 Jaguar, outside his Norristown law office. He is now being held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail in the same Montgomery County jail as his convicted former client, Richard Ruth, 78, while awaiting a Jan. 3 preliminary hearing.

Noonan was charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal use of a communications device.

The Inquirer says a police complaint stated Noonan told detectives he got the Oxycodone pills from the wife of a client who owed him money.

The newspaper articles don’t include any comment from him or his lawyer. However, attorney Vincent A. Cirillo Jr., who defended Ruth’s son and office manager, Michael Ruth, in the same trial in which Noonan defended the physician father, told the Inquirer “I’m in total shock about what occurred here.”

“It just doesn’t compute,” Cirillo said. Noonan “has a good practice. He makes money. I just don’t understand why he would have to sell painkillers.”

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