Final man sentenced in $52m fake meds conspiracy

A Houston man involved in a counterfeit drug trafficking scheme has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking and money laundering violations.

Willis Reed (61), who was working as a production manager and director of technical operations at a manufacturing facility operated by Woodfield Pharmaceutical in Houston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison.

Woodfield employees produced more than 500,000 pints of counterfeit cough syrup for Byron Marshall, the ringleader of the gang who received a 300-month prison sentence last month after being convicted of counterfeit drug trafficking and money laundering.

The counterfeit cough syrups were copies of products known to be prone to abuse by recreational drug users, including an Actavis brand that was withdrawn from sale several years ago, and were sold across several US states including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee,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, according to the Department of Justice, but depending on the market and brand of cough syrup could go as high as $3,800 to $4,000 per pint.

All told, 11 defendants have been charged in connection with the illicit activity, and all pleaded guilty. Reed was the last to be sentenced in connection with the case. The indictment alleges the conspiracy resulted in approximately $52m in drug trafficking proceeds.

Florida-based president of Woodfield Pharma Adam Runsdorf was sentenced to 72 months in prison in July, while Tunji Campbell – who partnered with Marshall to hatch the scheme – was sentenced to 135 months imprisonment last month.

Among the other conspirators, Chauntell  Brown got a 72-month term while Cheryl Anderson, Ashley Rhea, Maria Anzures-Camarena, Kalpen Patel, and Jonathan Shave each got 60 months and Gina Acosta was sentenced to 40 months.

Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

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