Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Monday that his office secured an injunction and $50,000 in penalties against a couple accused of selling banned, misbranded and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
Flavia Maria Rodriguez and her associate, Salvador Enrique Velasco, illegally imported the drugs from Mexico and Central America and distributed the product to local shops and across the country, Feuer’s office alleged.
The injunction is the result of a four-year multi-agency investigation into the sale and distribution of illegal pharmaceuticals in Southern California, Oregon and Arizona, and is believed to be one of the largest ever conducted in the U.S., according to Feuer.
“Counterfeit and illegal pharmaceuticals pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” he said. “My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to bring those who prey upon some of our most vulnerable residents, and jeopardize their health, to justice.”
Both of the defendants were placed under a permanent injunction prohibiting them from engaging in the sale of pharmaceuticals or to engage in any advertising related to pharmaceutical or herbal remedies.
The investigation concluded that neither Rodriguez nor Velasco is licensed to sell pharmaceuticals, and that Rodriguez was an employee at a South Los Angeles business, Tienda Quetzal Nava at 2824 S. Vermont Ave., where dangerous, misbranded and counterfeit pharmaceuticals allegedly were sold, Feuer’s office said.
An injunction against the business, and another related business, was secured by Feuer’s office in September, leading to their closure.
Another employee at the business, Blanca Garcia Perez, was also criminally prosecuted for selling prescription medication without a license and was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 20 days of community labor, along with $3,500 in restitution for the cost of the investigation.
Feuer’s office said the defendants sold various combinations of dangerous, illegal and misbranded pharmaceuticals to investigators on 14 separate occasions, and that a search warrant of the defendant’s homes conducted in May recovered 42,605 illegal, misbranded and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
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