Clear Brook Man Pleads Guilty to False Labeling of Animal Blood Exports
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Phillip Lloyd, 57, of Clear Brook, pleaded guilty yesterday to making and submitting false labels for animal blood that was transported internationally.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Lloyd was the owner and manager of Biochemed Services, Inc., a broker of human blood and animal blood products based in Winchester. Biochemed would receive orders from biomedical research companies for specific quantities of human blood, animal blood and products, and would package and export products from the United States. To evade enforcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, employees of Biochemed shipped animal blood products with documents that falsely described the contents of the packages as “human” blood products. The actual labels accurately describing the blood shipments as “animal” blood products would be sent in separate FedEx envelopes that would not be inspected by Fish and Wildlife Service or other law enforcement officials.
According to the statement of facts, from in or about January 2014 to in or about May 2016, Biochemed packaged and shipped internationally, products including blood of squirrel monkeys and other primates protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (“CITES”). CITES is an international agreement that provides protection to fish, wildlife and plant populations that are or could be harmed as a result of trade and restricts the international trade and transport of species that are threatened with extinction.
According to the statement of facts, on Jan. 23, 2014, in response to a request for squirrel monkey blood for shipment to a company in Canada known as “Tropicus Research,” Lloyd emailed the customer to confirm shipment with human on the labels, stating the squirrel monkey labels should arrive at the same time in a FedEx letter package. Lloyd then engaged in a telephone conversation about the shipment of monkey blood with an individual claiming to be an employee of Tropicus Research, but who was an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acting in an undercover capacity. On multiple occasions in February 2014, Lloyd caused FedEx to pick up and deliver to Tropicus Research packages of squirrel monkey blood, falsely labeled as “Human Blood,” accompanied by a commercial invoice indicating that the shipment contained human blood.
Lloyd faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 27, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-226.