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Press Release

Charlottesville Man Arrested on Federal Drug Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Elliott Atwell, a Charlottesville man who allegedly sent male enhancement pills to a 16-year-old living in New Jersey, was arrested this morning at his home in Charlottesville on a federal criminal complaint and charged with dispensing prescription drugs without a valid prescription. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen of the Western District of Virginia, United States Attorney Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey, Gregory W. Ehrie, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division, and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division announced the arrest today following the defendant’s initial court appearance this afternoon in Virginia.

Atwell, 30, is charged with two counts of dispensing drugs without a valid prescription, each of which could result in a year of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.

According to court documents, over the course of the past several years, Atwell developed online and in-person relationships with multiple juveniles in New Jersey, and elsewhere. In March 2020, a 16-year-old juvenile living in New Jersey told investigators that Atwell sent him a package containing “Viagra” in the mail. Atwell told the juvenile the medication he was sending would cause him to have erections that would last for hours and would allow him to have sex “like a porn star.”

The juvenile’s mother intercepted the package and turned it over to investigators. Upon examination, the package was revealed to contain prescription medication for male erectile dysfunction. In addition, the package contained warnings to “keep out of reach of children” and to only be used by medical professionals.

The investigation of this case remains ongoing and is being handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in both Virginia and New Jersey. Assistant United States Attorneys Kristen Harberg, Heather L. Carlton, and Ronald M. Huber are prosecuting the case for the United States.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Updated May 14, 2020