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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Two Years for Dealing|Bogus Prescription Drugs

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A judge sentenced a man to two years in federal prison on Monday for being a "key member" of a group that distributed counterfeit, Chinese-made prescription drugs across the United States.

Francis Ortiz Gonzalez, 36, of Puerto Rico, also was ordered to pay $324,530 to the drug companies that make the drugs he counterfeited, which include Lipitor, Viagra, Xanax and Cialis, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Federal agents found more than 100,000 counterfeit pills at Ortiz's home in suburban San Juan while executing a search warrant in September 2009, prosecutors said. He was accused of having shipped more than 140,000 bogus pills to people across the United States.

He was convicted at trial in summer 2012 of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit drugs. His wife was acquitted.

Prosecutors said Ortiz worked for a ring headed by Bo Jiang, 34, of China, who was arrested in New Zealand two years ago but skipped bond and is a fugitive.

A third man, Edward Alarcon, 44, was convicted of two counts of trafficking in counterfeit OxyContin and Cialis. He faces up to 20 years in prison at his April 4 sentencing.

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