News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2008
For Information Contact,
Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

El Mirage Home Used as Dispensary for Prescription Drugs

OCT 17 -- (PHOENIX) – DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall announced the culmination of three-year investigation that targeted the sale of Phentermine, a Schedule IV controlled substance, through various websites. The investigation identified a home in El Mirage, Arizona that was being used to ship large quantities of Phentermine directly to buyers of all ages without the medical examination by a physician required by law.

The former owner of the home, Gregory Crosby, was one of 18 individuals charged earlier this week by a federal grand jury in the District of Utah, Salt Lake City. Crosby, and others were charged by a federal grand jury with violations of federal law relating to the distribution of drugs through internet pharmacy businesses based in Utah and elsewhere. Charging documents allege the internet pharmacies distributed substantial quantities of controlled substances, smuggled into the United States from Mexico, through the online businesses.

Purchasers who did not have valid prescriptions from their physician for the medication they were ordering online were provided a prescription by the online business without a medical evaluation or given the controlled substance without a prescription. According to charging documents, the online businesses -- including Lighthousemeds and Federalmeds – were not licensed pharmacies and there is no evidence that Lighthousemeds or Federalmeds ever employed a licensed pharmacist. The DEA conducted several undercover purchases of drugs without a prescription from the two businesses. Most of the tablets DEA purchased were unmarked and far below the purity levels of the drug reported on the label.

DEA Special Agent in Charge, Elizabeth W. Kempshall stated, “As prescription pharmaceutical abuse grows, so too does the resolve of our Diversion Control Group (DCG) to investigate and uncover the illicit activities that fuel this problem. The investigators and agents assigned to the DCG are committed to ensuring that only those people complying with the law are in possession of prescription drugs.

Phentermine is a Schedule IV controlled prescription drug which is chemically similar to amphetamine. Phentermine causes a loss of appetite and is used as a short term treatment for obesity.

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