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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Pharmaceutical President Sentenced in Counterfeit Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

Runsdorf, the owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC based in Boca Raton, Florida, conspired with drug traffickers in Houston, Texas, to distribute misbranded and counterfeit cough syrup. 

A Florida-based pharmaceutical president has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs today.

Adam P. Runsdorf, 58, of Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs, and money laundering conspiracy and was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.  Runsdorf was also ordered to forfeit $5 million and a McLaren sportscar.

According to the indictment, from April 2014 until August 2021, Runsdorf, the owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC based in Boca Raton, Florida, conspired with drug traffickers in Houston, Texas, to distribute misbranded and counterfeit cough syrup.  Runsdorf’s company pleaded guilty to the same charges and was ordered to forfeit $1 million and fined $50,000.

According to information presented in court, Byron A. Marshall, 43, of Houston, utilized Woodfield Pharmaceutical’s manufacturing facility and employees in Houston to produce more than 500,000 pints of counterfeit cough syrup. Marshall’s drug trafficking organization sold the counterfeit drugs across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Arkansas, and Ohio. Prices generally ranged from $100 to more than $1,000 per one-pint bottle. Depending on the market and brand of cough syrup, prices went as high as $3,800 to $4,000 per pint.

During the conspiracy, Marshall communicated directly with Runsdorf regarding production of the counterfeit cough syrup.  At Runsdorf’s request, Marshall paid Woodfield Pharmaceutical in cash only, and Woodfield employees mailed the cash directly to Runsdorf in Boca Raton.

All eleven defendants charged in the indictment, including Runsdorf and Marshall, pleaded guilty.  Six have been sentenced in addition to Runsdorf. Tunji Campbell pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs, and money laundering conspiracy and was sentenced to 135 months imprisonment. Chauntell D. Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit drugs and was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment. Cheryl A. Anderson, Ashley A. Rhea, and Maria Anzures-Camarena, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy and were sentenced to 60 months imprisonment. Five others, including Marshall, are awaiting sentencing.

“In his role as owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC, Adam Runsdorf knew his company was producing thousands of gallons of counterfeit cough syrup—labeled to be nearly identical to a discontinued product—to be distributed to drug traffickers in Texas and other states,” said U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.  “Runsdorf knew that drug traffickers were selling the counterfeit cough syrup to street-level users and he profited greatly from the sale of the counterfeit cough syrup.  Runsdorf’s greed earned him a significant prison sentence.  Food and drug products, particularly pharmaceuticals such as cough syrups, undergo rigorous testing and inspection by federal authorities to ensure their safety.  When companies evade inspection and certification requirements, innocent consumers are put at risk.  EDTX is committed to ensuring public safety and upholding public trust through the vigorous prosecution of those that skirt these safety requirements.”

“This sentence sends a strong message to anyone misusing their trusted role and privilege granted by DEA to handle controlled substance,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Division Daniel C. Comeaux.” “This case shows how collaborative efforts between state, local and federal partners on multiple fronts are capable of holding large pharmaceutical distribution companies like Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC accountable by immediately suspending its dangerous operations and bringing its CEO behind bars.”

“Today’s sentence sends a clear message that the laws of the land apply to everyone, regardless of position or power,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher J. Altemus, Jr. of IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), Dallas Field Office. “Adam Runsdorf abused his role as CEO of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC to participate in the laundering of hundreds of thousands of dollars derived from illegally manufactured and distributed controlled substances. Mr. Runsdorf’s sentence is a direct result of the excellent partnership between law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s office in combating drug trafficking and money laundering.  I am extremely proud of the CI special agents who used their unique financial expertise to help unravel this complex fraud and money laundering scheme. IRS-CI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to stop criminals like Mr. Runsdorf from endangering the American public.”

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Marshals Service; Houston Police Department; Galveston Police Department; Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Dickinson Police Department; League City Police Department; Pearland Police Department; Pasadena Police Department; Texas City Police Department; Harris County Precent #2; Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office; Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office; Liberty County Sheriff’s Office; and the Texas National Guard.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John B. Ross and Jonathan C. Lee.

Read more at DEA

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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