Francis Ortiz Gonzalez of Puerto Rico sentenced to 2 years in prison after being found guilty of one count of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit drugs. The investigation conducted by ICE, Homeland Security and the FDA portrayed Ortiz Gonzalez as a member of a vast counterfeit drug distribution business operating within the United States. Ortiz Gonzalez was originally charged after agents conducted a search of his home in September 2009, and discovered over 10,000 counterfeit pills, and evidence that the pills were shipped from China, and that Ortiz had already shipped over 140,000 to customers throughout the United States.
Who: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
When: January 28, 2013; 2008-2009.
Where: Los Angeles, California, United States.
How: Execution of search warrant at Ortiz-Gonzalez’ home by US Customs Enforcement Agents.
Additional details: A second member of this counterfeit drug organization,
Edward Alarcon was convicted of two counts of trafficking in counterfeit drugs on January 11th, 2013. Ortiz-Gonzalez and Alarcon’s alleged boss, a Chinese national named Bo Jiang, jumped bail after being arrested by New Zealand authorities. He fled to mainland China and remains at large.
“ Puerto Rican man sentenced to 2 years in prison for distributing counterfeit, Chinese-made pharmaceuticals across US,” HIS ICE News Release. January 28, 2013.
“ Man convicted for role in international counterfeit drug distribution scheme Search continues for organization’s ringleader,” HIS ICE News Release. August 9, 2012.
“ Puerto Rico Man Sentenced for Distributing Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals Across U.S.,” Latin American Herald Tribune. January 28, 2013.
“Two Years for Dealing Bogus Prescription Drugs.,” Courthouse News Service. January 29, 2013.