A Pennsylvania licensed pharmacist who operated a brick and mortar pharmacy in Harrisburg, PA, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for illegally distribution pain medication and stimulants over the internet.

Stephen L. Marks, 67, formerly of Carlisle, PA, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances and money laundering. At his plea, he admitted illegally distributing pain medications and stimulants to customers who visited fake online pharmacies and ordered drugs, including dosage and quantity, without a legitimate physician’s prescription.

Marks distributed almost 1 million units of controlled substances and generated sales in excess of $1 million to customers nationwide, reports the United States Department of Justice.

Marks was warned by the DEA in 2004 that his conduct was illegal and yet despite that warning Marks continued to market the drugs via the internet, reported Assistant United States Attorney Joseph J. Terz at the sentencing hearing. The government accused Marks of” violat[ing] his duty as a healthcare professional and put[ting] his personal money interests over his obligations a licensed pharmacist.”

“Today’s sentence exemplifies the price to be paid by health care professionals who choose to betray the public trust for their personal financial gain,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jay Scheurer of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Metro Washington Field Office. “We commend the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their efforts in investigating and prosecuting this matter.”

By S. Imber