David Beckford was one of 5 California residents charged in a scheme to produce and sell fake Xanax from bulk medication imported from China.

A Northern California Federal Court has sentenced Oakland resident David Beckford to ten years in prison after his guilty plea on counterfeit drug, money laundering, and weapons charges, The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports.

According to the DOJ, Beckford imported bulk medication in powder form from China and other foreign sources, as well as pill presses, to produce real-looking counterfeit Xanax pills. Said U.S. Attorney Stretch, “David Beckford intentionally and illegally manufactured and distributed counterfeit prescription drugs. His plan to put more than 150,000 counterfeit pills into circulation presented a serious risk to public safety.”

The DOJ notes that not only did Beckford receive a ten year prison term, he was also sentenced to three years of supervised release along with the forfeiture of currency, firearms, ammunition, and custom jewelry in his possession. Beckford is currently being held in custody so will start serving his sentence immediately. 3 of his co-conspirators have also been sentenced: Stephan Florida and Isaiah Clayton were each sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment and 36 months’ probation. The last person to plead guilty, Beau Sankene has not yet been sentenced.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sheila Armbrust and Marc Wolf prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Ana Guerra and Yanira Osorio.

By S. Imber