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Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Marketing and Selling Abused Street Drug over Internet Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2010

Las Vegas, Nev. – A woman who marketed and sold an abused recreational street drug on her website under the pretense that it was an "herbal alternative," has pleaded guilty to federal felony fraud and drug charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Yamila Abraham, 34, of Las Vegas pleaded guilty on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, to mail fraud and misbranding a drug, and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 16, 2010. Abraham faces up to 20 years in prison on the mail fraud count, up to three years in prison on the misbranding count, and fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

According to the plea agreement, between about January 2004 and August 2006, Abraham operated the website, www.Pleasureherbs.com, which falsely and fraudulently offered for sale "herbal" alternatives to recreational street drugs, including a product known as "Snurf." "Snurf" was not an "herbal supplement," as Abraham represented, but instead was comprised entirely of dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DXM), which is a stimulant and the active ingredient in over-the-counter cough suppressants. At all times, Abraham knew that "Snurf" was being used as a recreational drug in dosage amounts substantially exceeding that recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Abraham knew that this presented a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death. Abraham agreed to the forfeiture of $38,362 and 20,000 DXM pills.

The investigation of Abraham was initiated after FDA officials in Chicago intercepted two parcels traveling to Las Vegas which had been declared as containing vitamins, but which actually contained thousands of pills of DXM. FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the criminal investigation of the case. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane M. Pomerantz.

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