Update, August 2023: A third superseding indictment has led to 11 people pleading guilty in USA v. Marshall.  Five of them await sentencing.

Adam Runsdorf, the president and owner of Woodfield Pharmaceuticals, received a 72-month sentence in July 2023 for manufacturing counterfeit cough syrup for this ring between 2014 and 2021.

Runsdorf and Woodfield also paid nearly $2.5 million to resolve allegations of violating the Controlled Substances Act. Those allegations included illegally importing 20 million opioid pills and falsifying importation documents.

Read the facts in Runsdorf's plea

Video: Fake Cough Syrup Ring in Texas

Nine Texans have been charged with running a counterfeit cough medicine ring that earned itself more that $52 million in the last seven years. Since the start of the pandemic, prices for black market cough syrup for sale online and in major metro areas start at $2,000 a pint. Black market prescription medicines put people at risk because there is no way to know what they actually contain.

Cover of video: Fake Cough Syrup Ring in Texas

Video Transcript

Is there money in counterfeit cough syrup? Oh, my goodness yes.

Nine Texans are facing charges for illegally selling fifty-two million dollars of counterfeit cough syrup, with counterfeit prescription labels like these for the last seven years.

Black market prices for cough syrup in major metro areas START around $2,000 per pint. And go as high as $15K per pint.

The feds claim this gang made about fifty two million dollars over 7 years making their own fakes and selling them. So, we know why they were in this business.

The problem, as with all fakes, is that they’re sometimes deadly.

In 2020 police in Alabama made a seizure of fake codeine cough syrup too.  These fakes were seized at a clandestine factory in Phuket, Thailand.  In 2012 and 2013, a batch of fake cough syrup found in Pakistan killed 60 people and put 44 children in Paraguay in the hospital.

The problem isn’t that you’ll get addicted, though that’s a risk, it’s that before you get addicted, you’ll die from the fatal ingredients.

Actually, compared to death, the risk of psychosis, seizures, and liver damage sounds marginally better.

We at PSM are grateful to the great police work done to terminate this gang that allegedly sold its deadly counterfeits in Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas.

In particular, our thanks go to the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the DEA, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, and all these local police departments. You can see the list below.

You can read the indictment here , and we’ll update you when this case goes to trial.

To learn more about successful cases like this, watch our playlist about closed law enforcement case on YouTube. Don’t forget to click subscribe!

Local Law Enforcement Who Aided This Case

  • Texas City Police Department
  • Harris County Precinct #2
  • Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office
  • Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office
  • Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
  • Texas National Guard
  • Houston Police Department
  • Galveston Police Department
  • Galveston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dickinson Police Department
  • League City Police Department
  • Pearland Police Department
  • Pasadena Police Department