The alleged co-conspirator to a prominent Wisconsin pharmacist accused of selling counterfeit drugs had previously been arrested and charged for running a sham pharmacy in Texas.
Balbir Bhogal was recently arrested, along with renowned Madison, Wisonsin, pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, for allegedly importing and selling millions of tablets of phony erectile dysfunction medication and other fake drugs, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The news source recently discovered that this was not the first time that Bhogal has crossed the law.
In 2002, an undercover police raid led to the 63-year-old being charged with five felony counts of possessing illegal drugs, including cocaine, crack and marijuana. In addition, at Bhogal’s herbal supplement store in Oakridge North, Texas, authorities seized a Fed Ex package that contained phentolamine mesylate, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction.
“It is speculated that Bhogal was making his own [erectile dysfunction] pills,” a detective wrote in the incident report. However, he was not specifically charged for making counterfeit drugs at that juncture, according to Andrew Walters, the police chief of Oakridge North.
“He was certainly a predator type,” Walters told the news source.
The raid of Bhogal’s store was prompted when an informant told police that Bhogal had offered to exchange some of the morphine pills the tipster’s terminally ill sister used to manage her pain for some of his herbal remedies. After obtaining a search warrant, police sent the informant back to the store to make the exchange. In the subsequent search of the property, the police found that package that contained the substance that may have been intended to be used in the creation of counterfeit drugs, in addition to the illicit drugs.
“He was rookin’ people out of genuine painkilling meds and selling them on these herbal meds,” Walters told the news provider.
The State Journal reports that it is not yet clear how Bhogal and Ahlgrimm came in contact. In court documents Bhogal is described as a “registered agent” for a Madison pharmaceutical company.
Bhogal’s and Ahlgrimm’s recent arrest was prompted when an informant told the FBI about buying millions of doses of prescription drugs from the pair. In addition, another confidential source told the authorities that he ordered painkillers and erectile dysfunction drugs from the two and when the medications were inspected by authorities it was found they were ineffective or counterfeit drugs.