Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 18, 2009
United States Attorney
Northern District of California
Contact: Jack Gillund
SAN FRANCISCO – A former Oakland, Calif., resident pleaded guilty in federal court today to distributing drugs purported to be Viagra and Cialis without a prescription, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.
In pleading guilty, Roger L. Hollins Roberts, formerly Roger L. Hollins, admitted to operating Internet Web sites known as www.viagra-on-wheels.com and www.sexpills-on-wheels.com, which advertised delivery services specializing in local delivery or overnight mail delivery of brand-name prescription erectile dysfunction drugs, particularly Viagra and Cialis. The drugs the defendant advertised and sold on these Web sites were drugs that he imported from the People’s Republic of China and Mexico. They bore the labels “Viagra” and “Cialis” and contained the same active ingredients as those drugs. Roberts also admitted that the Web sites falsely stated that the drugs were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that they were obtained directly from licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers, and that they were sold in compliance with FDA regulations. Roberts has never been registered as a pharmacist or licensed medical practitioner with the State of California.
“Our prosecution of Roger L. Hollins Roberts, and others who traffic in counterfeit prescription drugs, should serve as fair warning to people that they are wrong to think the benefits of quick profits outweigh the risks of apprehension and punishment,” Russoniello said. “We are committed to protecting the public against the unscrupulous and will use the full force of federal law to bring them to justice.
“The FDA is committed to investigating the illegal and unscrupulous distribution of prescription drugs without a prescription,” said Terry Vermillion, Director, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations. “This case is another example of how some individuals obtain illegal prescription drugs and use the Internet to offer those drugs for sale to anyone willing to pay for them. These individuals have no idea what is actually in the drugs they offer for sale, and yet they provide them to naive buyers, without a prescription, and without any regard whatsoever to the health or safety of those who purchase their fraudulent products.
Roberts, 50, was charged by Information on April 16. He was charged with misbranding drugs while held for sale with intent to defraud or mislead, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 331(k) and 333(a)(2). Under the plea agreement, the defendant pled guilty to this charge.
The sentencing of Roberts is scheduled for September 24 before Judge White in San Francisco. Any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the plea agreement, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Ioana Petrou is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance legal technician Jennifer Hiwa. The prosecution is the result of a one and a-half year investigation by the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations.
Case #: 09-0403 JSW
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Jack Gillund at (415) 436-6599 or by email at Jack.Gillund@usdoj.gov.
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