LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has successfully secured a conviction against an Elysian Park man for selling counterfeit prescription drugs on multiple occasions from his vehicle following an undercover investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
"My office, together with our partners in the LAPD, will always fight to protect the public from the risks posed by counterfeit drugs," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "People who deal counterfeit drugs pose a threat to public health and safety and we will hold them accountable."
Diego Rafael Alvarez, 50, pled no contest to one count of unlawfully furnishing a dangerous drug and one count of possession for sale of a counterfeit mark. Alvarez was ordered to perform 30 days of community labor and pay $2,500 in restitution and over $7,000 in fines and penalties. He must also stay 100 yards away from 2055 N. Figueroa Street and not possess any prescription medication unless prescribed to him by a licensed physician.
On three separate occasions between September 21, 2016, and February 26, 2017, an undercover private investigator and a Detective with the LAPD were offered for sale packs of counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills by Alvarez from his vehicle, a black GMC Yukon parked at 2055 N. Figueroa Street. The undercover Detective was offered yellow and blue tablets which contained the same active ingredients as Viagra and violated trademarks registered to Eli Lilly and Company and Pfizer, Inc. The Detective also observed several hundred counterfeit pharmaceuticals in a tool box on the front passenger seat of Alvarez’s vehicle.
A subsequent search of Alvarez’s home in Elysian Park recovered a total of 3,563 pharmaceuticals, of which 3,498 purported to contain active ingredients requiring a prescription in the United States. Alvarez is not a licensed pharmacist and is not qualified to sell pharmaceuticals. The estimated retail value of the recovered drugs is $9,177.
Deputy City Attorney Sasha Lazarevich successfully prosecuted the case.