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Texas Trio Charged With Counterfeit Drug Smuggling

Three Athens, Texas residents, Wanda Hollis, 63, Tom Giddens, 57, and Catherine Nix, 41 have been charged with one felony count of conspiracy to smuggle merchandise into the United States, seven counts of causing the introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead, seven counts of smuggling and one count of tampering with a witness. The defendants were also charged with misdemeanor counts of causing misbranded imitation drugs to be introduced into interstate commerce. The indictment accuses the three of smuggling more than 30 boxes of bogus imitations of Xanax, Valium, sibutramine, Cialis, Viagra and Stilnox (Ambien in the U.S) into the United States for the purpose of resale.

Who:FDA OCI, FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of Justice.

When: October 6, 2014, November 2009-January 2010.

Where:Athens, Texas, U.S.A.

How: FDA-OCI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

Additional details: All the drugs seized from the trio were tested and found to be either of substandard dosing or composed of different, banned pharmaceuticals in lieu of their purported ingredients. The generic version of the weight loss treatment Phentermine that they offered for sale was instead composed of Phenolphthalein (a laxative), and Sibutramine (a dangerous, banned pharmaceutical ingredient.)

Related sources:

" Three Indicted in Prescription Drug Smuggling Ring," DOJ Press Release. October 6, 2014.

" Giddens Hollis Nix Indictment," Department of Justice. August 27, 2014.

" 3 east Texas residents indicted in prescription drug smuggling ring," ICE Press Release. October 6, 2014.

" Three indicted in prescription drug smuggling ring," KMOO. October 7, 2014.

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