Following earlier successful raids by the Ventura County Task Force, new investigations in Los Angeles County have turned up counterfeit and misbranded medications for sale at small stores and swap meets all over the LA. Basin.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that fake medication sellers working at stores and swap meets in Los Angeles are being actively pursued by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, thanks to several months of investigation by the Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force (HALT).
According to the Daily News, HALT investigators seized all manner of prescription drug fakes including birth control, antibiotics, steroids and blood pressure medications. The Daily News also reports that “while most of the drugs are coming in from Mexico and Central America, they are produced all over the world, notably China and India.”
CBS Los Angeles reports that counterfeit drug charges have been filed against 5 people, and that more charges are expected in the coming weeks.
CBS Los Angeles spoke to Deputy Public Health Officer Eric Aguilar who explained that HALT was formed in 1999 after 2 deaths occurred in Orange County. According to Aguilar, “We had seen a drop-off in the sale of these (medications), but recently there has been a resurgence.” He also noted that they suspect tons of the medication is being stored all over the county.
This investigation has been conducted by HALT, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, LAPD, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.