Nutritional Supplement Chain Reaches Settlement in Connection With Drug Diversion
BOSTON – The United States reached a civil settlement yesterday with Performance Nutrition, a Seekonk, Mass.-based business that sells nutritional supplements online and in retail stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, in connection with civil drug diversion allegations.
Based on facts developed in the course of the investigation, the government contended that Performance Nutrition violated the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 in connection with its sale of anti-asthma products containing ephedrine, a chemical that can be used to make methamphetamine. Specifically, the government alleged that Performance Nutrition failed to self-certify with the DEA for online sales, failed to send the DEA monthly reports of its sales, made online sales exceeding the maximum amount of ephedrine permitted, failed to ask purchasers for photo IDs, maintained sale logbooks with incomplete information, and failed to train all its employees on the legal requirements for selling ephedrine products. Performance Nutrition has agreed to pay $60,000 in settlement of these claims.
“Sales of products containing ephedrine are subject to strict requirements because ephedrine can be used to manufacture methamphetamine,” stated United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “The mishandling of any chemicals used to manufacture meth, a highly addictive and dangerous illegal drug, is a serious offense which will be pursued by my office. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that retail and online sellers of products containing such chemicals abide by their legal obligations.”
“Methamphetamine can destroy communities and devastate the lives of the users,” stated Michael J. Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division. “Ephedrine is a key component in the manufacturing of this dangerous drug. DEA, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate businesses that violate the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005.”
The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Ortiz and Acting DEA SAC Ferguson. The investigation was conducted by Diversion Investigators with the DEA, Boston Field Division. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Driscoll and Christine Wichers of Ortiz’s Civil Division.