August 5, 2014: Wisconsin man Sentenced to Prison for Violating Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 5, 2014
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced that Shon Tay Dessart (age: 46) of Reedsville, Wisconsin was sentenced in federal court to one year in prison after being convicted in June following a jury trial of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Dessart operated a business known as EDS Research Supplies out of a residence he owned in Reedsville, Wisconsin. At the residence, Dessart manufactured and sold prescription drugs using raw materials he purchased from China and then marketed the drugs over the Internet. Among the products Dessart sold were drugs containing the active ingredients found in prescription drugs approved to treat erectile dysfunction (such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra), hair-loss (such as Propecia), as well as albuterol and anti-estrogen drugs. Other products included clenbuterol, a FDA-approved drug for use only in horses, not humans.
Trial testimony provided by several United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doctors described the potential harmful effects of using these drugs without a prescription. The FDA witnesses also described potentially harmful effects of merely handling some of the drugs in the forms sold by Dessart, including certain powder forms.
Dessart claimed that the drugs were "for research only" and not intended for human consumption but marketed the drugs on websites dedicated to body building and sold the drugs in various colors and flavors (including sugar-free flavors). Dessart was convicted of 23 felony violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, including operating an unregistered manufacturing facility and distributing prescription drugs without a prescription. The jury found that, in committing these offenses, Dessart had acted with the intent to defraud or mislead the FDA
In announcing this sentence, United States Attorney James L. Santelle stated: "the United States Department of Justice pursued this important prosecution to protect our residents from the significant danger posed by the unauthorized manufacture and sale of drugs. In addition to defrauding the Food and Drug Administration in its beneficial, public-oriented function, the defendant misled consumers of his unapproved drugs and threatened their physical health and condition. I commend the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and our state and local law enforcement partners in Manitowoc for their excellent investigative work in bringing this fraudulent operation to an end."
"The manufacture and sale of potentially dangerous unapproved prescription drugs poses a serious threat to the public's health," said John J. Redmond, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations. "We will continue to guard against those who would seek to defraud and mislead the FDA and endanger the public."
This case was investigated by the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, with substantial assistance from the Manitowoc County Metro Drug Unit, the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, and the Two Rivers Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew L. Jacobs of the U.S. Attorney's Office, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Clint Narver of the FDA's Office of Chief Counsel.