— – Federal law enforcement officials today announced the unsealing of a superseding indictment charging two in a large-scale illicit Internet pharmacy operation. The superseding indictment charged Carleta Carolina and Wayne White with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and other charges. The indictment was announced by DEA Special Agent-in-Charge John Bryfonski, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, and IRS Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Troy Stemen. In addition to the conspiracy, Carolina and White are charged with the distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to commit international money laundering, international money laundering, conspiracy to introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, and mail fraud. The superseding indictment alleges that from at least April 2005 to December 7, 2009, the defendants illegally distributed controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs without valid prescriptions.
“Today, a criminal drug trafficking organization that misused technology to open the world’s medicine cabinet, placing unbridled greed before health and safety, has been stopped,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John J. Bryfonski, who also pointed out that several of these charges are the first in violation of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act passed by Congress. “Those who choose to violate laws designed to ensure the safe and legal dispensation of pharmaceutical drugs will not escape the scrutiny of DEA by attempting to hide on the Internet.”
Defendant Carleta Carolina allegedly owned, operated, and was affiliated with websites, such as www.discreetonlinemeds.com, that sold controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs, primarily the controlled weight-loss drugs phendimetrazine and phentermine, to customers who were only required to complete an online medical questionnaire but were not examined by a physician in connection with their orders. According to the indictment, Carolina hired physicians to review the customers’ online questionnaires and to issue prescriptions based solely upon the customers’ responses. She then hired pharmacies, including Superior Drugs in Miami, Florida, to fill and ship these invalid prescriptions. Superior Drugs was operated by defendant Wayne White, who is a pharmacist. At least one of the doctors and one of the pharmacies that Carolina hired, as well as many of the online customers, were located in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“Although the Internet may have provided the defendants with a veneer of legitimacy, it does not change the unlawful and dangerous character of the conduct alleged in the indictment,” said Memeger. “The defendants are charged with drug dealing, plain and simple. It is unlikely that the customers of the websites that the defendants allegedly used would ever patronize a drug corner; yet they apparently had no problem ordering prescription drugs over the Internet, and the defendants allegedly had no problem filling their orders in an unlawful manner.”
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