Three charged with manufacturing, distributing performance enhancing drugs
ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA – A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging two Florida residents and one North Carolina resident with manufacturing and distributing performance enhancing drugs, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
William Bagwell, 45, of Petersburg, Florida; Cole Leggett, 52, of Clearwater, Florida; and Robert Nicholson-Gould, 45, of Lexington, North Carolina, allegedly conspired with one another to violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for nearly two years.
Bagwell was the owner and operator of Freedom Pharma, a company that was a manufacturer and distributor of various unapproved prescription drugs to customers throughout the United States, including the Northern District of West Virginia. Leggett and Nicholson-Gould were both employed by Bagwell.
Freedom Pharma was not registered with the United States Food and Drug Administration as a drug manufacturer. The drugs, which include, dehydrochloromethyltestosterone, drostanolone enanthate, exemestane, methandienone, nandrolone decanoate, oxandrolone, oxymetholone, sildenafil, stanozolol, tadalafil, tamoxifen citrate, testosterone, and trenbolone, were misbranded and introduced into interstate commerce.
“The FDA ensures that drugs are safe, effective, and manufactured using good manufacturing practice” said Mark S. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Office. “Those who attempt to circumvent these requirements and sell potentially dangerous unapproved and misbranded products will be brought to justice.”
They were each charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” and one count of “Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Act.” In addition, Bagwell and Leggett were each charged with eight counts of “Introductions of Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce,” and six counts of “Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances.”
They each face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for the conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act charge; and up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for the conspiracy to violation the Controlled Substances Act charge. Additionally, Bagwell and Leggett face up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 for each of the introduction of misbranded drugs charges; and up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for each of the unlawful distribution charges. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas is handling the case on behalf of the government. The United States Food and Drug Administration is investigating.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.