Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
April 28, 2011: Hooksett Woman Pleads Guilty to Four-Count Indictment
CONCORD, N.H. – Elisane Garcia, 32, formerly of Hooksett, New Hampshire, pled guilty to a four-count indictment charging Ms. Garcia with smuggling goods into the United States, introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded drugs, possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, and money laundering.
Investigators intercepted thousands of pills, known as “Brazilian diet pills,” which contained fluoxetine and chlordiazepoxide (Schedule IV controlled substances), the same active ingredients as Prozac and Librium, as well as fenproporex, a Schedule IV controlled substance not approved for marketing in the U.S. The defendant wired at least $44,930 to suppliers in Brazil. Ms. Garcia fled to Brazil when she learned she was under investigation, but was eventually arrested and extradited when she traveled to Germany. The IRS previously civilly seized and forfeited approximately $35,000 from the defendant’s bank accounts after she fled.
The defendant has been detained since her arrest on September 13, 2010 in Munich, Germany and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 25, 2011. The smuggling and money laundering charges both provide for a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a potential fine of $500,000.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of the New Hampshire State Police and INTERPOL. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Clyde Garrigan and Shannon Singleton, an attorney for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire.