May 6, 2024: Woman develops lesions from weight loss injectable sold to her via TikTok

Major Stories

A New York woman has been charged with selling illegally imported weight loss drugs on TikTok.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York charged a Long Island woman with smuggling, receiving, dispensing and delivering misbranded, injected weight loss drugs, including Ozempic, Mesofrance, and Acxion. As alleged, the defendant, who is not licensed to prescribe or administer prescription medication, sold medicines she had acquired from Latin America to TikTok followers. One buyer developed a serious skin infection from mycobacterium abscessus after using Mesofrance the defendant allegedly sold her; tests showed it was contaminated with the bacteria.

Image from the seller's TikTok. (Source: Criminal Complaint, USA v Reyes, April 2024)

Domestic News

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation to ban tianeptine. A counterfeit Xanax vendor in Missouri was sentenced. More news in California, Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas.


Tianeptine, a non-FDA approved antidepressant associated with seizures, loss of consciousness and death, is often found in supplements.

Senators Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal introduced legislation that would ban the sale of tianeptine in the United States. The drug, which is often referred to as gas station heroin, has been linked to several deaths and has already been banned in nine states.

27-year-old Brandon Adams of Sullivan, Missouri received a two-year prison sentence and an order to pay fines and forfeitures of nearly a million dollars for making and selling millions of counterfeit Xanax pills on dark web markets. During a search of two properties associated with Adams, law enforcement found a pill press, tens of thousands of misbranded pills and bags labeled alprazolam, a benzodiazepine called clonazolam, $630,000 in cash and $330,000 in Bitcoin.

Robert Contreras, 24, of Buena Park, California, received an 18-year prison sentence for shipping tens of thousands of fentanyl pills into southwest Virginia. A search of his residence in 2023 yielded cash, firearms without serial numbers, 1,600 pressed fentanyl pills, approximately 7,000 alprazolam pills, 3,000 Adderall pills, and other drugs.

State and federal law enforcement seized pill-making equipment and suspected narcotics during unrelated raids in Aurora, Colorado and Plano, Texas.

Source: St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office

Investigators with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office seized almost 2,500 fake Adderall pills made with methamphetamine and about 250 counterfeit Viagra pills made with cocaine in Slidell, Louisiana.