Counterfeit Medicine News for March 8, 2021
COVID-19 counterfeits and fraud:
The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning not to use ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. The agency has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical treatment, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.
The Federal Trade Commission continues to warn U.S. residents to be on guard about vaccine scams, particularly unsolicited offers via email, telephone calls or text messages, or any offer that involves payment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has seized a fourth fraudulent pharmaceutical website. “USARegenerMedicals.com,” claimed to sell an antibody drug cocktail approved for the treatment of COVID-19 virus, but was actually collecting personal information to use for fraud.
Prosecutions and Seizures:
23-year-old Francisco Jimenez pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a 52-month sentence in state prison for selling the counterfeit Percocet that killed a Navy service member in Tracy, California in January 2020.
Victor Daniel Gutierrez, formerly of California, pleaded guilty in a Pennsylvania federal court to shipping 340 grams of fentanyl pills to Pennsylvania in June 2020.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Maricopa County Criminal Targeting Unit arrested three brothers after a search of their Phoenix home yielded 9,000 fentanyl pills, methamphetamine, cocaine, multiple firearms, and counterfeit money.
A federal court in Kentucky indicted 15 people for their alleged roles in an Owensboro-based drug ring. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized four-and-a-half pounds of fentanyl pills among almost 320 pounds of other drugs.
In Ohio, Fairborn and Dayton police officers arrested two men after three search warrants led to them seizing more than one pound of suspected fentanyl, pill making materials, a pill press, weapons and other illicit drugs.
Law enforcement arrested two men after they found 11 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 10,000 suspected counterfeit fentanyl pills in their vehicle during a traffic stop in Quines Creek, Oregon.
Pennsylvania State Police found that a 24-year-old Lebanon resident they were investigating for trespassing was carrying nearly 200 suspected fentanyl pills, among other drugs.
The Yavapai County, Arizona Sheriff's Office seized more than 10,000 fentanyl pills and large quantities of methamphetamine in three separate traffic stops.
Customs and Border Protections in Louisville, Kentucky announced that they had seized 518 pounds of illicit drugs—including 229 pounds of prescription medications and chemicals—during the month of February 2021.
Police in nearby Tempe, Arizona uncovered marijuana, cocaine and 9,500 pills that contained fentanyl during a traffic stop.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta Task Force shut down a drug trafficking operation inside a meat packing warehouse in DeKalb County, Georgia. They seized 11 pounds of methamphetamine, almost a pound of meth-infused gummy bears, a pill press, and other drugs.
After a canine alerted to sealed, like-new bottles of vitamin and antibiotic medicine, agents at the Interstate 8 immigration checkpoint in Yuma, Arizona examined the bottles and found $24,000 in fentanyl pills.
Yuma Border Patrol agents seized $24,000 of fentanyl pills hidden in sealed bottles labeled as vitamins and antibiotics. (Source: CBP)
PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs and other medical products. Check back for next week’s summary.