Fake Online Pharmacy Operators Arrested After Man Dies From Taking Drugs They Sold

SVG image of the opioid U-47700 which was the most optimized of the benzamide class of opioids that began from AH-7921, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Brian Parker of Long Island City, New York and Victoria Koleski of Farmingdale, New Jersey have been arrested and charged with distributing controlled substances via two different Internet pharmacies, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports.

According to the DOJ, “On May 22, 2016, law enforcement officers were dispatched to a residence in Madison, Wisconsin, in response to a report of a 37-year-old man who had stopped breathing. The victim was dead by the time officers arrived at his residence. An autopsy later confirmed that the victim’s death was caused by acute intoxication due to the combined effects of a substance called U-47700 and Benzodiazepine Analogue (Etizolam).”

Investigators were able to the connection to Parker’s Internet sites, via invoices and labeling found where the Wisconsin man had died, the DOJ reported. Subsequent investigation found that Parker and others shipped over 200 parcels from a Farmingdale post office.

According to NJ.com, Parker allegedly ordered raw chemicals from China that he had shipped to co-conspirators such as Koleski, and then had them reshipped to him.  Parker would then refine the chemicals in a lab and sell the drugs via his websites.

NJ.com also notes, “Investigators said Parker has two prior federal convictions for conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids and selling misbranded prescription drugs without a license.”

The pair faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge, along with a 1 million dollar fine.

This case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark is prosecuting the case.