FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
WILSON CONVENIENCE STORE OPERATOR FOUND GUILTY
OF POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT VIAGRA
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today that a jury in Greenville convicted HATEM ABU HASSAN, 47, of Corwell Street, Wilson, North Carolina, on one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2314, and five counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods, specifically counterfeit Viagra, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2320.
The counterfeit Viagra that HASSAN, a convenience store operator in Wilson, sold had been mixed with such ingredients as gypsum. Gypsom is the primary component of common sheetrock.
The success of this case is due in large part to the joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Drug Administration, Wilson Police Department, and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. This investigation also led to the arrest of co-defendants in Virginia and New York. United States Attorney Holding stated that “this is an excellent example of what cooperation between local and federal authorities can do. The government’s evidence in this case was a persuasive combination of traditional police work and laboratory analysis.” Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Bowler handled the case for the government. Sentencing is scheduled for May 7, 2007.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.