Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

May 10, 2013: Spearfish Man Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud and Misbranding of a Drug

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Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release


For Immediate Release
May 10, 2013

United States Attorney
District of South Dakota
Contact: Ace Crawford
(605) 343-2913 ext. 2101


United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that John Martin, age 74, of Spearfish, South Dakota appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on May 9, 2013 and pled guilty to a charge of Mail Fraud and a charge of Misbranding of a Drug. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 20 years' imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

Between February 27, 2007 and December 31, 2011, Martin, who is not a physician, instructed a person to send him money and samples of blood, saliva, and hair so he could test the samples for cancer. Additionally, in April 2011 Martin directed a person to take herbal supplement pills as a treatment for cancer.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Spearfish Police Department, the Belle Fourche Police Department, and the Butte County Sheriff's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be scheduled. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.


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