Permanent Resident Charged in Viagra® and Cialis® Case
HOUSTON, September 25, 2013 – Mohammad Jamal Rashid, 45, a legal permanent resident from Pakistan residing in Houston, has been arrested following the return of a seven-count indictment involving counterfeit Viagra® and Cialis® products, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Holland of the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) Kansas City Field Office.
The indictment, returned Sept, 12, 2013, was unsealed today upon his arrest. Rashid made his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm. Smith at which time he was permitted release upon posting bond.
“Today’s arrest demonstrates the continued commitment by the FDA-OCI and its law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those allegedly involved in the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals,” said Holland. “Those ultimately convicted of such crimes are often motivated by greed and prey upon an unsuspecting public with no regard for public safety.”
The indictment charges Rashid with conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit and misbranded Viagra® and Cialis® pills, introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and smuggling.
Rashid allegedly conspired with others to import counterfeit and misbranded Viagra® and counterfeit and misbranded Cialis® to his home in Houston. The indictment alleges Rashid received a package containing approximately 3,200 counterfeit Viagra® and approximately 4,000 counterfeit Cialis® drugs. According to the indictment, Rashid accepted delivery and took possession of a package containing the counterfeit drugs which were addressed to Rashid’s home, under another person’s name on Jan. 26, 2012. The indictment further alleges Rashid delivered a package of counterfeit drugs to another individual on that same day.
The possible punishment for a conviction of trafficking in counterfeit goods is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of not more than $2 million. He further faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of smuggling as well as another five years and $250,000 fine for the conspiracy, upon conviction. For introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, the possible punishment is up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the FDA-OCI. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.