Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday that his office has secured an injunction, $20,000 in penalties and the closure of two Los Angeles businesses allegedly involved in the sale of misbranded, illegal and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
“Counterfeit and illegal pharmaceuticals can be deadly,” Feuer said. “My office and our law enforcement partners continue to fight to protect our residents. The closure of these two businesses, coupled with strong injunctive terms, send a clear message to those who seek to prey on our community.”
The injunction prohibits Iris Anabella Gonzalez and her husband Hugo Gonzalez Nava from engaging in the sale of pharmaceuticals for 10 years. The pair was also hit with $20,000 in civil penalties and the ordered closure of the two businesses they operated at 4160 S. Vermont Ave. and 2824 S. Vermont Ave.
Employees at the businesses, Tienda Puerto Quetzal and Tienda Quetzal Nava, sold dangerous, misbranded and counterfeit pharmaceuticals, including injectable anti-inflammatories and injectable birth control, along with syringes to inject the drugs and some employees also allegedly offered to inject the pharmaceuticals for a small fee, Feuer’s office said.
The businesses were not registered pharmacies and employees were not pharmacists, Feuer’s office said, and the legal action was taken as the result of an undercover operation which included investigators making seven buys at the two businesses while purchasing 10 doses of counterfeit Diprospan, an injectable anti-inflammatory drug.
Investigators allegedly were also told that they could purchase large quantities of pharmaceuticals on two days’ notice, if a deposit was given, and search warrants were executed in May 2018 resulting in the confiscation of 1,725 illicit pharmaceuticals at 4160 S. Vermont and more than 1,130 illicit pharmaceuticals from 2824 S. Vermont.
Feuer’s office said the majority of the illegal drugs were misbranded or not allowed to be sold in the country and require a prescription.
Gonzalez and Gonzalez Nava were allegedly the suppliers of the illegal pharmaceuticals to both businesses, Feuer’s office said.
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