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Press Release

Tampa Bay Man Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Federal Prison For Product Tampering, Causing The Death Of An Unborn Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara today sentenced John Andrew Welden (29) to 13 years and 8 months in federal prison for tampering with a consumer product resulting in bodily injury to the victim (Remee Lee), and for conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Specifically, Judge Lazzara sentenced Welden to 10 years’ imprisonment on the consumer product offense and 44 months in prison on the mail fraud charge, to be served consecutively. The court also ordered Welden to pay restitution in the amount of $28,541, with respect to the injuries suffered by the victim, and to serve a 3-year term of supervised release, following his incarceration.

Welden pleaded guilty on September 9, 2013.

According to court documents, Welden obtained and then tampered with Cytotec pills by removing the identifying information from the pills. On March 29, 2013, Welden gave the pills to Lee, in a pill bottle, with a label falsely describing the pills as Amoxicillin. Subsequently, Welden admitted to law enforcement that he gave the pills to the victim, with the intention of killing her unborn child. Shortly after taking one of the Cytotec pills, on the same date, Lee began experiencing severe cramping and bleeding. Thereafter, her baby died.

Following two days of expert witness testimony on January 8th and 9th, 2014, Judge Lazzara found in favor of the United States and determined that the Cytotec pill taken by Lee, at the direction of Welden, caused her to suffer serious bodily injury and also resulted in the death of her unborn child.

This case was investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys W. Stephen Muldrow and Josephine W. Thomas.

Updated January 26, 2015