Leader of Illegal Online Pharmacy Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison
Former Marine and Police Officer ran Illegal Operation Doling Out Narcotics
A former police officer who was the leader of an online pharmacy that illegally distributed hundreds of thousands of narcotic pills and other prescription drugs was sentenced to eight years in prison today, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. JUAN GALLINAL, 49, of Pembroke Pines, Florida is a former police officer from Virginia. GALLINAL was the organizer of the online pharmacy operation, turning a small brick and mortar drugstore into a massive online pill mill that spread addiction across the country. Highlighting the devastation of opioid abuse, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones noted that during his time as a police officer GALLINAL had “the opportunity to see the ravages and consequences of addiction to drugs.”
“This defendant is one of the ‘founding fathers’ of this internet pharmacy business that exploited the drug addiction of people across the country for his own gain,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Using a sham owner, shell corporations and databases hidden on a server in Switzerland, Mr. Gallinal tried to hide his business and his role from the law. I commend the Drug Enforcement Administration for their diligent work on this case that led to the shuttering of this criminal operation.”
Under the name ‘Discount Pharmacy’ and later ‘A-1 Pharmacy’, the internet operation distributed drugs to some 200 customers in Washington State between 2009 and 2012. The pharmacy shipped hundreds of thousands of pills of hydrocodone, phentermine, alprazolam (Xanax) and codeine (Tylenol 4) to thousands of people across the country who did not have valid prescriptions for the narcotics. The conspiracy brought in more than $9 million in revenue from the sale of pills during the three-year scheme. The pharmacy operated four internet sites through which the defendant and his co-conspirators solicited customers including those in Washington State. According to records in the case, the conspiracy filled prescriptions even if no valid prescription existed. At times the conspirators simply looked for a physician in the same geographic area as the customer, with a similar sounding name, and filled the prescription using the physician’s DEA number without the physician’s knowledge. The pharmacy charged as much as ten times the usual price for the medications.
In June 2012, the DEA seized the websites, computers, and drug inventory associated with the illegal pharmacy. In April 2015, GALLINAL pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances by means of the internet, conspiracy to introduce misbranded prescription drugs, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and destruction, alteration and concealment of records. He agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of more than $1.9 million.
GALLINAL is the final defendant to be sentenced. Judge Jones noted GALLINAL was the leader who drew his co-conspirators into his “web of deceit and greed…. You were the orchestrator, conductor, composer and chief engineer making this engine run.”
The other defendants include:
Craig Greer, 43, of Hollywood, Florida, was sentenced to 60 months in prison;
Kevin Kogan, 48, of Cedar Park, Texas, was sentenced to 30 months in prison;
Jordan Truxell, 26, of Davie, Florida served as the registered agent for Discount Pharmacy dba frontierpharmacies.com. He was sentenced to a year in prison in June 2016;
Thomas Brooke, 54, of Cooper City, Florida, the bookkeeper for Discount Pharmacy, was sentenced in March 2016 to 60 months in prison;
Ali Lovins, 44, of Cooper City, Florida is a registered nurse and was the office manager for Discount Pharmacy. Lovins was sentenced in March 2016 to 36 months in prison.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Portland Tactical Diversion Squad which is comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Portland Police Bureau. Substantial investigative assistance was provided by the Food and Drug and Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office, and DEA Miami Field Division.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mike Lang, Francis Franze-Nakamura and Brian Werner.