LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Bath County, Ky., man, who was found guilty by a jury earlier this year of several federal charges, including manufacturing misbranding products, conspiring to impede an investigation and tampering with a witness, has been sentenced to 72 months in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced Samuel Girod, 57, for impeding an officer of the United States, obstruction of proceedings before an agency of the United States, witness tampering, failure to appear, and nine violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, in connection with three products he made and distributed. Judge Reeves also ordered Girod to pay $14,239.08 in restitution to his customers, and imposed a term of supervised release of 3 years following his release from prison.
“The essence of this case is found in two fundamental principles: protecting the public and ensuring the integrity of the judicial process,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “A federal jury convicted Mr. Girod of conduct that brazenly placed the public at risk, openly hampered law enforcement, and intentionally impeded the judicial process. The interests of everyone are served when criminal conduct undermining these principles is confronted and prosecuted.”
At his trial in March of this year, the evidence established that Girod had been manufacturing and selling homemade products to businesses in numerous states and that the products did not comply with FDA regulations. Specifically, one of his products was dangerous when used in the manner recommended and all three were advertised in a way that did not comply with the law.
In 2013, a federal judge in Missouri ordered Girod to stop manufacturing and selling his products, until his labeling and advertisement of the products met FDA regulations. Despite the court order, Girod continued to manufacture these products and sell them in Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois, marketing them in the exact same manner as he had before the court order.
The evidence further established that, as part of the 2013 order, the judge required inspections of Girod’s facility in Bath County, to ensure his compliance with the order. In November 2013, two FDA Consumer Safety Officers attempted to conduct the court-ordered inspection of Girod’s facility, but they were prevented from conducting the inspection by Girod and others on his property.
Then, after the criminal case against him began, Girod tampered with a witness, failed to appear for court proceedings, and was a fugitive for several months.
Acting United States Attorney Shier and Mark McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, jointly announced the sentence. The case was investigated by the FDA, Office of Criminal investigations, and the United States Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate K. Smith and Todd Bradbury prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government.