News

Defendant Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Trafficking In More than $400,000 Worth of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Iyad Dogmosh, 27, a Jordanian national, today to four years in prison for trafficking in more than 38,000 counterfeit Viagra tablets, announced U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for the District of Maryland and Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division. Dogmash is expected to be deported upon the completion of his sentence.

Dogmosh pleaded guilty on Aug. 6, 2007, to a two-count criminal information charging him with trafficking in counterfeit goods on two separate occasions. According to the plea agreement, in October 2006 Dogmosh negotiated and facilitated the sale of 2,000 counterfeit Viagra pills. The counterfeit pills were identical in shape, size, color and markings to legitimate Viagra pills, but samples later tested by the Food and Drug Administration’s laboratory were determined to be counterfeit. Additional testing also revealed that while the counterfeit Viagra tablets contained almost none of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, sildenafil citrate, the tablets did contain metronidazole (Flagyl) – an antibiotic, which if consumed with alcoholic beverages, could cause abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches and flushing. The defendant subsequently admitted to federal officials that he knew that the 2,000 pills he sold were counterfeit Viagra.

According to information contained in the plea agreement, on July 11, 2007, Dogmosh stored a suitcase containing more than 36,000 counterfeit Viagra tablets at a storage facility in Glen Burnie, Md. These tablets had been imported into the United States from a source in Egypt. The following day, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant and seized the suitcase. The seized pharmaceuticals were identical or substantially equivalent in shape, size, color and markings to legitimate Viagra pills; however, a laboratory analysis on a sample of the more than 36,000 tablets revealed that they were counterfeit. 

Legitimate Viagra is produced by Pfizer Inc., a research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company with its corporate headquarters located in New York City. At the time of the defendant’s crimes, the wholesale cost for the 38,249 pills would have been approximately $402,379.

This sentencing is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing initiative to combat counterfeiting crimes that threaten public health and safety. The initiative coordinates various private, state and federal enforcement resources to combat the proliferation of counterfeit goods posing a danger to consumers, including counterfeit drugs, with special emphasis on the investigation and prosecution of multi-district and international cases involving the importation, manufacture and distribution of these dangerous goods.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Baltimore and New York Offices for their investigative work with substantial assistance provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Anne Arundel County Police Department and commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Sale and Trial Attorney Matthew J. Bassiur of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section.

 

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