May 13, 2016: Two Key Players in Illegal Online Pharmacy Scheme Sentenced to Prison
A former police officer and a technology consultant who distributed hundreds of thousands of narcotic pills and other prescription drugs via an illegal internet pharmacy were sentenced to prison today, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. CRAIG GREER, 43, of Hollywood, Florida, was sentenced to 60 months in prison. KEVIN KOGAN, 48, of Cedar Park, Texas, was sentenced to 30 months in prison. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said the conspiracy “pumped into our community an enormous amount of drugs…impacting people you will never see but whose lives and families you destroyed by feeding their addiction.”
GREER is a former police officer, who worked to promote the internet pharmacy scheme. GREER sent spam emails promoting the online pharmacy and made sure long-time customers got their drugs even if they did not have a valid prescription. In prior versions of the scheme, GREER used his history as a police officer to lull some doctors into thinking the online pharmacy operated within the law. GREER was also involved in overseas online pharmacies affiliated with lead defendant Juan Gallinal. In addition to the prison term, GREER was sentenced to three years of supervised release, including 250 hours of community service and a money judgment of $88,635.
KOGAN set up the websites and servers for the online pharmacy, and attempted to hide the conspiracy’s databases from investigators. KOGAN not only handled the technology side of the operation, he lied to investigators, destroyed evidence and provided fraudulent information in response to a grand jury subpoena. Records show he moved a critical company database to a server overseas in an effort to frustrate the law enforcement investigation. In addition to the 30 month prison term, KOGAN was sentenced to three years of supervised release, including 150 hours of community service and a money judgment of $155,660.
The internet pharmacy distributed drugs to some 200 customers in Washington State between 2009 and 2012. The pharmacy shipped hundreds of thousands of pills of hydrocodone, phentermine, alprazolam (Xanax) and codeine (Tylenol 4) to people across the country who did not have valid prescriptions for the narcotics. The conspiracy brought in more than $9 million in revenue from the sale of pills during the three year scheme. The pharmacy operated four internet sites through which they solicited customers and allowed customers in Washington State to order drugs. According to the indictment, the conspiracy would continue to refill prescriptions even if no valid prescription existed. In some instances the conspirators simply looked for a physician in the same geographic area as the customer, with a similar sounding name and filled the prescription using the physician’s DEA number without the physician’s knowledge. The pharmacy charged as much as ten times the usual price for the medications.
The conspirators laundered the proceeds of their sales through a brick-and-mortar pharmacy in Florida called Discount Pharmacy of Pines. In June 2012, the DEA seized the websites, computers, and drug inventory associated with the illegal pharmacy.
All but one of the defendants who were indicted in May 2014 have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing:
- The originator of the scheme, JUAN GALLINAL, 48, of Pembroke Pines, Florida is a former police officer from Virginia. He is scheduled for sentencing in October 2016.
- JORDAN TRUXELL, 26, of Davie, Florida served as the registered agent for Discount Pharmacy dba frontierpharmacies.com. He is scheduled for sentencing June 3, 2016.
- THOMAS BROOKE, 54, of Cooper City, Florida was the bookkeeper for Discount Pharmacy was sentenced March 18 to five years in prison.
- ALI LOVINS, 44, of Cooper City, Florida is a registered nurse and was the office manager for Discount Pharmacy. LOVINS was sentenced March 4, 2016 to three years in prison.
- JERRY DELMAN, 83, of Miami, Florida, a pharmacist who ostensibly oversaw the prescriptions going out the door to customers is being evaluated for a medical condition that could impact his ability to participate in a trial.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Portland Tactical Diversion Squad which is comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Portland Police Bureau. Substantial investigative assistance was provided by the Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) – Florida, and DEA Miami Field Division.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mike Lang, Francis Franze-Nakamura and Brian Werner.