Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
November 2, 2011: Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Importing Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Curtis Henry, 52, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa, to attempting to import counterfeit "Viagra" and "Cialis" tablets into the United States for resale. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley E. Tyler stated, who is handling the case, stated that between January and June 2011, the defendant ordered over 700 counterfeit "Viagra" and "Cialis" tablets from a source in China. After receiving the counterfeit pharmaceutical tablets, Henry sold them in the City of Rochester.
"Counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals, create an un-level playing field for business," said U.S Attorney Hochul. "But more importantly, they can be dangerous to the health of those who take them. Our Office will continue to work closely with our federal partners to bring those who traffic in counterfeit goods to justice."
“This investigation again demonstrates the commitment of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations to aggressively pursue those who distribute counterfeit prescription drugs and who greedily place at risk the health and safety of consumers to line their pockets” said Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent In Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office. “ I would like to commend the US Attorney’s Office and our joint Law Enforcement partners at the Department of Homeland Security Investigations in our continued efforts in combating counterfeit drugs.”
"Counterfeit drugs pose a serious threat to public health and safety, and those who engage in this illicit practice have no concern for the well-being of people’s lives,” said James Spero, Special Agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo. "People who purchase drugs should never have to put their lives at risk because the product is fake, unsafe or untested. Homeland Security Investigations and our law enforcement partners in New York will continue to work diligently to make sure counterfeit products stay off of our streets.”
The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and Special Agents of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent In-Charge Mark Dragonetti.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2012, Rochester, N.Y., before Judge Siragusa.
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