Lina Rodriguez, 34, was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to serve 72 months in prison, followed by 24 months of supervised release, for operating and facilitating the operation of an Internet-pharmacy business that illegally shipped over $1.5 million of pharmaceuticals since July 2007 to U.S. and overseas purchasers.
According to the Dec. 6, 2012, indictment, Rodriguez owned an Internet-pharmacy business used to advertise, sell and distribute a wide variety of controlled substances and prescription drugs in the United States and abroad. Since May 2009, her co-defendant, Michael P. Jackson, of Carmi, Ill., supplied Rodriguez with the prescription drug known as Adderall, which contains amphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
The drugs distributed by Rodriguez’s business included Adderall, Ritalin (containing the controlled substance methylphenidate), Esbelcaps (containing a combination of the controlled substances fenproporex and diazepam ), and other controlled and non-controlled substances.
“This prosecution aims to curb the flow of dangerous drugs into the hands of United States citizens,” said Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. “The controlled substance drugs allegedly sold by the defendants were not dispensed by U.S. licensed pharmacies, and were not prescribed by any physician. Along with FDA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and our other law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect our citizens from unsafe and potentially harmful drugs.”
Rodriguez pled guilty to the lead count of the indictment on Feb. 11, 2012, which charged her and Jackson with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute Adderall. According to her plea agreement, Rodriguez agreed to forfeit two vehicles and not to oppose a judgment against her in the amount of $36,112, as gross proceeds of the offense to which she pleaded guilty. Jackson awaits sentencing on June 3, 2013.
The case was investigated by the Miami Field Office of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations; the Miami Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Sacramento Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Larsen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and Perham Gorji, Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch.