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Argentine National Sentenced For Receiving and Storing Over 700,000 Tablets of Prescription Drugs From Overseas

May 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge today sentenced an Argentine man, Felix Gabriel Alderete, to one year of imprisonment for his participation in a conspiracy to traffic in prescription drugs, including Lorazepam, Diazepam, Alprazolam, Ketamine, and Sibutramine.

In January 2013, Alderete pleaded guilty to the offense and admitted that in 2010, he had picked up packages from mailbox facilities in the Los Angeles area that had been sent by express mail from overseas. The packages contained tens of thousands of tablets of these drugs. According to court documents, on October 22, 2010, a search of a storage unit that defendant had visited and for which he had paid rent resulted in the discovery of nearly 60 boxes of over 700,000 tablets and over 5,000 empty pill bottles and bottles with labels. A search of an apartment that Alderete shared with others uncovered nearly 1,000 tablets along with labels and pill bottles, as well as a computer containing spreadsheets documenting sales of pharmaceuticals to customers throughout the country. Defendant left the country shortly after the searches were conducted and he was arrested when he tried to reenter the country in October 2012.

In pronouncing the sentence, United States District Judge Percy Anderson observed that the defendant had participated in a "serious offense" for over seven months that warranted a custodial sentence.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Department of Homeland
Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Release No. 13-068

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