Coventry Man Sentenced To Federal Prison In International Conspiracy To Import And Distribute Anabolic Steroids And Prescription Drugs
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Edmond Paolucci, 54, of Coventry, RI, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for his participation in an international conspiracy to import and distribute prescription drugs and anabolic steroids, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigation.
U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Paolucci to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Paolucci pleaded guilty on November 28, 2012, to one count each of conspiracy to distribute steroids, possession with the intent to distribute steroids, distribution of a misbranded drug, and two counts of money laundering.
Patrick Cunningham, 44, of Cranston, a co-defendant in this matter, pleaded guilty on March 12, 2013, to one count each of conspiracy to distribute steroids and distribution of a misbranded drug. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2013.
At the time of his guilty plea, Paolucci admitted to the court that he participated in a conspiracy to repackage the illegal drugs and sell them under various names and labels to consumers who placed orders via the Internet. A significant portion of the proceeds realized from the sale of the illegal drugs was laundered back to individuals in Israel.
According to information presented to the court, an investigation by the Rhode Island FDA Task Force revealed that from at least November 2009 until November 2011, Mr. Paolucci served as a U.S. confederate of an Israeli-based, international drug distribution ring that was also responsible for the manufacture and sale of prescription drugs, including drugs bearing the underground brand names Sciroxx and Xsorox in the United States and elsewhere.
According to information presented to the court, various misbranded prescription drugs as well as bulk quantities of pills and injectable oil-based drugs were shipped from Israel, Turkey and Bulgaria to postal boxes in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Through his co-conspirators in Rhode Island, including Patrick Cunningham, Mr. Paolucci used an underground laboratory to repackage the drugs into retail-size pill packets and 10 ml vials, bearing Sciroxx and Xsorox labels that he then shipped to customers in the United States who had made purchases on websites operated by Mr. Paolucci and his Israeli co-conspirators. A significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of the misbranded drugs was sent back to co-conspirators in Israel.
According to information presented to the court, records obtained from money transfer service companies showed that from February 2009 to September 2011 Mr. Paolucci transferred in excess of $76,000 in proceeds from steroid and prescription drug sales to individuals in Israel.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
A task force led by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, conducted the investigation. The task force partnerships include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Rhode Island State Police, North Providence Police, East Providence Police, and the Rhode Island National Guard.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, acknowledged the assistance of international counterparts at the Israel Ministry of Health, Division of Enforcement and Inspection, and Jerusalem Customs and VAT who provided significant assistance in the investigation of this matter.