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CHICAGO PHARMACIST FACES FEDERAL CHARGES FOR COUNTERFEIT DRUGS

by Robert Kerr

When people are accused of federal crimes, the impact is immediate. People can be taken into custody, arrested, questioned, lose their jobs and more. Preparing a criminal defense from the beginning of an investigation may help lessen the impact of federal charges.

For one Chicago pharmacist, a federal indictment has had a big impact on his career and could have long lasting effects. According to the indictment, the man is accused of purchasing counterfeit Viagra and Cialis — both male enhancement drugs — from China between April 2011 and May 2012. Federal investigators say he then sold these fake drugs to customers of his Belmont Avenue pharmacy.

Prosecutors claimed that the drugs were shipped in a package claiming to contain a pen. However, officials allege that under the pen were clear unmarked bags of the illegal pills. As a result of the investigation the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation revoked his license to operate a pharmacy and suspended his pharmacist license.

In the indictment, the man has been charged with trafficking in counterfeit drugs, smuggling and violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. If he is found guilty, the man could face up to 20 years in prison for smuggling, 20 years in prison for trafficking counterfeit drugs and three years for violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Each of these charges also carries very large fines ranging from $250,000 to two million dollars. In addition to the fines and prison time, in the indictment the federal government is also seeking to claim the man’s residence and business.

While the consequences to federal charges are swift and severe, the man in this case will be given the opportunity to defend against the charges in court. By crafting a careful defense, he can mitigate the damages caused by the investigation.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Pharmacist charged with selling counterfeit Viagra,” April 18, 2013

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