LEXINGTON, KY. — The United States Attorney’s Office, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FBI, IRS and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Division of Police jointly announce that the president of a Chicago corporation admitted Tuesday that he smuggled illegal prescription medication from Mexico to the United States for further distribution to stores in Kentucky and elsewhere.
Candelario Pelayo Garcia, 62, his company, Garcia Brambila Enterprises Company, DBA Importaciones, Inc., and another employee Alejandro Moran, 40, pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling goods, money laundering, delivery of smuggled goods in interstate commerce, wholesale distribution of prescription drugs in interstate commerce and conspiracy.
Garcia admitted that in early 2010, he and Moran traveled throughout the Midwest distributing unapproved prescription medication to stores in Lexington, Ky., Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin, among others. According to the plea agreement, Garcia transferred the sale proceeds to bank accounts in Mexico. Garcia profited an estimated $1 to $1.6 million from the scheme.
A cooperating witness in Lexington bought medication from Garcia on numerous occasions in early 2011. Subsequently, the FDA determined that the medication was prohibited from introduction and distribution in the U.S.
The medication was purchased in Mexico, smuggled across the border to California and shipped to Garcia’s store in Chicago. Garcia was involved in the legitimate distribution of health and beauty products. He often delivered these products along with the illegal medication. Moran drove Garcia and assisted with the distribution and deliveries.
The investigation was conducted by the FDA, FBI, IRS’ Criminal Investigations Division and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Division of Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger West represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case.
Garcia and Moran will appear for sentencing on April 5, 2012. They face a maximum prison term of five years and up to a $250,000 fine. The company also faces up to a $250,000 fine.