Dallas Man Arrested in Conspiracy to Distribute Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs
Defendant Trafficked in Counterfeit Viagra, Cialis and Levitra
DALLAS — Special Agents with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) and officers with the Irving (Texas) Police Department arrested Charles Anthony Jones, 48, of Dallas, yesterday morning on various charges in a federal indictment related to his alleged conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit drugs, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Jones made his first appearance in federal court this afternoon, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez, and was scheduled for a detention hearing at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 27, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver.
The 12-count indictment charges Jones with one count of conspiracy to traffic and attempt to traffic in counterfeit goods and to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by causing misbranded prescription drugs to be delivered into interstate commerce. The indictment also charges Jones with six counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods and five counts of introducing and delivering misbranded drugs.
The indictment alleges that Jones and other unnamed individuals imported pharmaceutical drug products and packaging that bore the trademarks of certain prescription pharmaceuticals used to treat erectile dysfunction without the drug manufacturer’s authorization, and then resold the drugs to the public using the Internet to facilitate the sales. Jones was never licensed by the FDA or the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to distribute pharmaceutical drugs.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, upon conviction, the maximum statutory sentences are:
- Count 1 (conspiracy): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;
- Counts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 (trafficking in counterfeit goods): 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine for the first conviction and 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine on subsequent convictions;
- Counts 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 (introducing and delivering misbranded drugs): one year in prison and a $1000 fine for the first conviction and three years in prison and a $10,000 fine on subsequent convictions; and
- Count 12 (trafficking in counterfeit goods): 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
Count 12 represents a new offense recently enacted by Congress and signed into law on July 9, 2012, by President Barack Obama as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, S.3187 (FDASIA). That law amended the trademark counterfeiting statute to create a new offense for “trafficking in counterfeit drugs.” It also increased the maximum penalty to 20 years in prison for a first offense.
The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which would require Jones, upon conviction, to forfeit all proceeds from his offense and two automobiles to the government.
The investigation is being conducted by the FDA-OCI and the Irving (Texas) Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Schall is in charge of the prosecution.
Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.
Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.