A Puerto Rican man who acted as a distributor for a counterfeit drug criminal gang was sentenced in Federal court this month. Originally facing 10 years, he has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for his role in a massive counterfeit drug ring operating in the United States

Francis Ortiz Gonzalez was convicted of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals in August of 2012. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) news release on the occasion of his sentencing, “federal agents executed a search warrant at Ortiz Gonzalez’s residence in Trujillo Alto, a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Inside the home, investigators found more than 100,000 pills that resembled a variety of popular prescription medications.” Ortiz Gonzalez shipped more than 140,000 counterfeit pills from China to individuals throughout the United States, found the investigators.

A Puerto Rican man who acted as a distributor for a counterfeit drug criminal gang was sentenced in Federal court this month. Originally facing 10 years, he has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for his role in a massive counterfeit drug ring operating in the United States

Francis Ortiz Gonzalez was convicted of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals in August of 2012. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) news release on the occasion of his sentencing, “federal agents executed a search warrant at Ortiz Gonzalez’s residence in Trujillo Alto, a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Inside the home, investigators found more than 100,000 pills that resembled a variety of popular prescription medications.” Ortiz Gonzalez shipped more than 140,000 counterfeit pills from China to individuals throughout the United States, found the investigators.

In addition to being sentenced to two years in jail, Ortiz Gonzalez is being required to pay $324,530 in restitution, said to ICE. In the news release published at the time of his conviction, the ICE describe his crime further saying “Ortiz Gonzalez packaged and shipped more than 140,000 counterfeit tablets during a seven-month period in 2009 while working as a ‘dropshipper’ for a counterfeit drug ring allegedly headed by Bo Jiang, 34, a Chinese national whose last known residence was in New Zealand. In January 2011, Jiang was taken into custody on a provisional arrest warrant by New Zealand law enforcement authorities, but he fled shortly after being released on bond. Jiang remains a fugitive.”

A second member of this counterfeit drug gang, Edward Alarcon was convicted January 2nd on two counts of counterfeit drug trafficking. According to ICE, evidence presented during Alarcon’s trial demonstrated that he purchased the counterfeit drugs from Bo Jiang. This is the second counterfeit drug conviction for Alarcon; as a result he faces up to 20 years in prison at his April 4th sentencing date.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) HIS Los Angeles, the FDA, Office of Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

By S. Imber