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California Man Indicted For Conspiracy In Operating Internet Pharmacy

WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jorge Alan Rodriguez Sanchez, 32, was indicted by a grand jury in Philadelphia yesterday for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances through the operation of an illegal Internet pharmacy, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Alice S. Fisher and U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced today.

Sanchez is also charged with four counts of distribution of controlled substances through the operation of an illegal Internet pharmacy. If convicted, Sanchez faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each charged count. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation.

Beginning in 2002, Rodriguez, a resident of Chula Vista, Calif., established an e-mail account through which he could sell narcotic prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin and other controlled substances, to customers without prescription or legitimate medical use. The indictment alleges that customers purchased drugs by placing orders via e-mails sent to Rodriguez's account. Customers most frequently requested Oxycodone, a highly controlled pain killer. Oxycodone is commonly sold under the brand names Oxycontin, Percocet and Endocet. The defendant also sold other prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Valium, Ritalin and Xanax.

The indictment alleges that once the terms of the transaction were agreed upon, customers were requested to wire payment for the drugs to Rodriguez and other co-conspirators through Western Union, a financial services company. Rodriguez did not require a prescription or physical examination by a licensed physician from any of his customers. Rodriguez retrieved the money sent by the customers at a Western Union location in Mexico, but shipped the drugs from Southern California to customers throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia area.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, with investigatory assistance from the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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