A man from North Hollywood, California was sentenced to 15 months in federal jail for his alleged role in distributing counterfeit pharmaceuticals. The drug crime charges included trafficking Oxycontin and Cialis although evidence was presented to show the drugs may have been counterfeit. The 44-year-old accused man was said to be the involved in marketing counterfeit drugs throughout the United States.

The case sprang from a joint investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency or ICE; Homeland Security Investigations or HIS; the U. S. Postal Service; and the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. The man was accused of purchasing the drugs from a Chinese national who was allegedly the head of a counterfeiting ring. A search of his residence and home turned up nearly 1,800 tablets believed to be related to the counterfeit drug racket.

The accused man was sentenced to jail and ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to both Lilly and Purdue pharmaceutical manufacturers. Lilly holds the original patent for Cialis, and Purdue holds the rights to Oxycontin. The pills in question in this case were said to be indistinguishable from the real drugs manufactured by these companies.

When someone is accused of a serious crime such as drug smuggling or illegal drug sales, it is important that the person protect his or her rights throughout the trial process. A criminal defense attorney may be able to assist the accused person in formulating a defense to the charges or in negotiating a beneficial plea agreement that will reduce jail time and fines.

Source: Imperial Valley News, “Los Angeles-area man sentenced federal prison for distributing counterfeit pharmaceuticals,” April 4, 2013