March 25, 2024: Vegas man sentenced for illegal imported medicine scheme

Major Stories

A Las Vegas man was sentenced for money laundering as well as the illegal importation and sale of prescription opioids. HSI shut down domain servers that were allegedly used to sell counterfeit medicine. Adulterated supplements recalled.

Christopher Housley of Las Vegas, Nevada received an eight-year prison sentence for possession with intent to distribute the prescription opioid tapentadol and 20 counts of money laundering. A criminal complaint filed in 2022 noted that Housley came to the attention of authorities when he ordered an industrial pill press with another person in 2020. Subsequent investigation showed that Housley imported bulk quantities of erectile dysfunction medicine, carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer, and tapentadol from India. He allegedly sold them through a website and a phone application called TextNow. The complaint also linked Housley’s sales to the death of a Waukesha, Wisconsin resident in June 2021. Law enforcement seized nearly 300,000 tapentadol pills over the course of the investigation.

Controlled substances seized by law enforcement from a storage locker rented by Christopher Housley (U.S. District Court of Nevada)

Homeland Security Investigations announced that agents across the United States and in Brussels worked with law enforcement in Luxembourg to shut down four domain servers that were allegedly used to sell fake medicine, including some made with methamphetamine and fentanyl, to U.S. buyers.

Los Angeles-based Pyramid Wholesale recalled dietary supplements that contain undeclared prescription drugs that treat erectile dysfunction.

Domestic News

News about prosecutions involving pill press operations in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. New pill press seizures in Indiana and South Carolina.

Detroit, Michigan resident Victor Hernandez pleaded guilty to drug distribution and money laundering charges for making fake Xanax pills with uncontrolled research chemicals and selling them, along with cocaine, on a dark web marketplace. When law enforcement searched a residence connected to the scheme, they seized firearms, an industrial pill press and mixer, controlled substances, counterfeit drugs and $1.3 million in cash and cryptocurrency.

A judge in Allen County, Ohio sentenced Lima resident Travon Thomas to 45 years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring that sold counterfeit pills, heroin and cocaine. Testimony at trial revealed that some of the pills he sold were made by pill press in Columbus.

Cordae Shatwon Jones of Erie, Pennsylvania received a seven-year prison sentence for drug distribution. FBI agents found drugs, a pill press, cash and firearms during a search of his residence in April 2022.

In South Carolina, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure of more than eight pounds of methamphetamine, cutting agents, and a pill press during a warranted search.

Police in Kokomo, Indiana seized a pill press, fentanyl, cash and M30 pills hidden in a baby formula container during the search of a house on March 19.

Drugs seized from a residence in Kokomo, Indiana in March 2024. (Howard County Sheriff’s Office)

International News

More news about counterfeit medicines in India.

An industry association in Bangalore, India called for the recall of certain batches of PAN-D, a medicine for gastroesophageal reflux, after authorities in Uttar Pradesh seized counterfeits labeled with those numbers.