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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Costa Rican Charged With Facilitating The Illegal Shipping Of Pills From India To The U.S.

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Costa Rica has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of mail fraud, misbranded drugs, conspiracy to import controlled substances and smuggling, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The 14-count indictment, which was returned on Jan. 13, named Daniel Fernando Sanchez, 39, of Costa Rica, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, Sanchez facilitated the Internet sale of misbranded drugs through reshippers in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Houston, Texas, who took delivery of Schedule IV nonnarcotics and non-controlled pain relief and erectile dysfunction drugs manufactured in India and, after repackaging, mailed them to thousands of customers throughout the United States. The customers were falsely led to believe that the drugs were “FDA approved,” that the erectile dysfunction drugs were genuine Viagra and Cialis, and that it was legitimate to distribute such drugs without prescriptions.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the mail fraud counts, three years in prison on each of the misbranded drug counts, five years in prison on the importation conspiracy count, and 20 years in prison on the smuggling count; as well as a $250,000 fine on each of the 14 counts. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Leo M. Dillon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, the Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 14, 2015