May 15, 2017: Vitamin Shop Owner Guilty of Selling Misbranded Drugs and Controlled Substance
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 33-year-old resident of Corpus Christi has pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled Substance with the intent to distribute and one count of receiving a misbranded drug in interstate commerce, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Elias Trevino Jr. was one of the owners of X2Zero, a store selling dietary supplements online and through stores located in Corpus Christi. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined a number of products sold there as “herbal weight loss supplements” were found to contain misbranded or unapproved foreign drugs.
In 1997, the (FDA) approved a prescription drug containing sibutramine under the trade name Meridia for the management of obesity. In October 2010, the FDA requested the Meridia marketer to withdraw the drug from the United States market due to the health risks associated with sibutramine, including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death. On Dec. 21, 2010, at the request of the manufacturer, the FDA withdrew its approval of Meridia. Since that time, no drug containing sibutramine has been approved for human use in the United States.
At today’s hearing before Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey, Trevino admitted he knowingly possessed and sold diet drugs containing sibutramine. He acknowledged that he imported the drugs from China and sold them through both the X2Zero store in Corpus Christi and on the Internet in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Sentencing has been set for Aug. 14, 2017, 2017. At that time, Trevino faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine for the controlled substance violation as well as one year in prison and an additional $100,000 maximum fine for violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The FDA - Office of Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. is prosecuting the case.