According to CBCNews Manitoba, an extradition hearing date is set for five Winnipeg men accused of illegally importing and selling $78 million worth of misbranded and counterfeit drugs to American doctors from 2009 to 2012. Kristjan Thorkelson, Thomas Haughton, Ronald Sigurdson, Darren Chalus and Troy Nakamura will appear in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench during the week of May 7, 2018 to face an extradition request the U.S Department of Justice for their roles in the CanadaDrugs.com case. The sixth defendant, James Trueman, is expected to have his hearing date set in Vancouver soon. Ian McLeod, Manager of Media Relations and Litigation Communications for Canada’s Department of Justice, wrote in an email, “The judge may make a decision from the bench immediately, but may also take time to review the information presented.
Almost three years after the original indictment, Canadian police arrested the six men on June 14 and 15, 2017. All six were released on bail, though they were required to turn over their passports. CanadaDrugs.com is online pharmacy based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The company is still operating and has a license from the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba. Thorkelson is the owner and CEO of CanadaDrugs.com. Sigurdson is CFO. Haughton is president of two subsidiaries based in Barbados and the U.K. Chalus is the Director of Clinical Sales, and Nakamura is the Clinical Manager. Trueman is accused of acting as a liaison between CanadaDrugs.com and drop shippers in Illinois and Washington state.
CanadaDrugs.com and its subsidiaries stand accused of selling non-U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and counterfeit versions of cancer drugs and other medications and medical practices all of the U.S. Federal investigators found counterfeit and non-FDA approved cancer medications in doctors’ offices in 28 states, allegedly sold by the accused companies. The FDA tested vials of Avastin, a cancer drug, sold by CanadaDrugs.com. According to CBCNews Manitoba, the vials had no therapeutic ingredients in them, containing only cornstarch and acetone.
The judge at the extradition hearing must decide whether the evidence is strong enough to commit the men to trial if the alleged acts had happened in Canada. If the judge believes the evidence is strong enough, they will order the extradition of the accused. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould will make the final decision whether to surrender the accused to U.S. authorities to face trial. The accused to have the right to apply for a judicial review of Wilson-Raybould’s decision to the Court of Appeals, and if the order to extradite is still upheld, they can appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
You can find more coverage of the CanadaDrugs.com case at: http://www.safemedicines.org/canada-drugs-case