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Seattle: BC retired dentist, son indicted for alleged counterfeit Viagra trafficking

Post by Stephanie A. Clark on May 1, 2010 at 10:49 am |
May 1, 2010 10:53 am

A 59-year-old retired dentist, a member of the Canadian Paralympic curling team, and his 28-year-old son were indicted by a grand jury in Seattle this week in a case involving the alleged trafficking of counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs.

Read the complete press release issued from the U.S. Attorney’s office on Friday:

JAMES PETER ARMSTRONG, 59, of Richmond, B.C. Canada, and his son, GREGORY JAMES ARMSTRONG, 28, also of Richmond, B.C., were indicted this week by a grand jury in Seattle for trafficking in counterfeit goods and selling and dispensing counterfeit drugs with the intent to mislead or defraud. JAMES ARMSTRONG is a retired dentist and was a member of the Canadian Paralympic curling team. The men are scheduled for arraignment on May 6, 2010.

According to the records filed in the case, on April 7, 2010, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Los Angeles intercepted a package that had been sent from China containing what appeared to be counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis. The package was addressed to a mail box in Blaine, Washington near the Canada/ U.S. border. An agent with the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations contacted the makers of both drugs and determined that the packaging and markings on the pills indicated they are counterfeit. The drugs are being further analyzed to determine what they contain. The mail box had been leased by JAMES ARMSTRONG’s late wife, and the package was addressed to her. Interviews with the operators of the mail box store revealed that JAMES ANDERSON came in once a week to pick up packages.

On April 15, 2010, ARMSTRONG was arrested outside the mail box store. He had picked up the package and examined the contents before leaving the store. Investigators allege some of the drugs were distributed by GREGORY JAMES ARMSTRONG at various nightclubs in the Vancouver, B.C. area.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The charges are punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $2 million fine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reminds consumers that the use of counterfeit drugs, particularly counterfeit drugs that are classified by the FDA as prescription drugs in the United States, can pose a risk of illness, injury or death to consumers. There is no FDA oversight over the manufacture, storage, shipment, sale or use of counterfeit drugs. The manner in which these drugs are made, the ingredients contained therein, and the manner in which the drugs are stored and shipped is unknown. As a result, the FDA cannot guarantee the safety and effectiveness of these drug products.

The case is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Lally.

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