2nd Defendant Sentenced To Federal Prison In International Conspiracy To Import And Distribute Prescription Drugs And Anabolic Steroids
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Patrick Cunningham, 44, of Cranston, RI, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his participation in an international conspiracy to import and distribute prescription drugs and anabolic steroids, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigation.
U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Cunningham to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Cunningham pleaded guilty on March 12, 2013, to one count each of conspiracy to distribute steroids and distribution of a misbranded drug.
Edmond Paolucci, 54, of Coventry, RI, a co-defendant in this matter, pleaded guilty in November 2012 to one count each of conspiracy to distribute steroids, possession with the intent to distribute steroids, distribution of a misbranded drug, and money laundering. He was sentenced on April 9, 2013, by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., to serve 33 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
At the time of their guilty pleas, Cunningham and Paolucci admitted that from at least November 2009 until November 2011 they participated in a conspiracy to import various misbranded prescription drugs and bulk quantities of pills and injectable oil-based drugs shipped from Israel, Turkey and Bulgaria to postal boxes in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Through his co-conspirators in Rhode Island, including Patrick Cunningham, Mr. Paolucci used an underground laboratory to repackage the drugs into retail-size pill packets and 10 ml vials, bearing Sciroxx and Xsorox labels. The repackaged drugs were shipped to customers in the United States who had made purchases on websites operated by Mr. Paolucci and his Israeli co-conspirators. A significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of the misbranded drugs was sent back to co-conspirators in Israel.
According to information presented to the court, records obtained from money transfer service companies showed that from February 2009 to September 2011 Mr. Paolucci transferred in excess of $76,000 in proceeds from steroid and prescription drug sales to individuals in Israel.
The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
A task force led by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, conducted the investigation. The task force partnerships include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Rhode Island State Police, North Providence Police, East Providence Police, and the Rhode Island National Guard.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, acknowledged the assistance of international counterparts at the Israel Ministry of Health, Division of Enforcement and Inspection, and Jerusalem Customs and VAT who provided significant assistance in the successful investigation and prosecution of this matter.
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