LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today detailed his office’s efforts to crack down on the illegal sale of pharmaceutical drugs, warning the public about the serious health and safety dangers.
"My office and our law enforcement partners will fight to protect consumers from the health and safety hazards posed by Illegal pharmaceuticals," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "We'll continue aggressively to prosecute those who dispense these drugs that endanger communities throughout Los Angeles."
The City Attorney’s Office is part of ongoing operations coordinated through the Health Authority Law Enforcement Taskforce (HALT) including the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, LAPD, and the LA County Dept. of Health Services. HALT operations target distributors and sellers of illegal pharmaceuticals at swap meets and small local stores. Products seized by law enforcement include antibiotics and antibiotic powders, steroid ointments, diet pills, diuretics, pharmaceutical placebos, liquid oils, creams and silicone products that may be used for body enhancements --pharmaceuticals that require prescriptions or cannot lawfully be sold in the United States. These products include drugs bearing non-English labels, drugs without lot numbers, warnings or expiration dates, and drugs not in original packaging.
The City Attorney’s Office currently has filed criminal charges in several cases involving the sale and distribution of illegal pharmaceuticals and will file additional cases next week:
People v. Maria Bonilla (4CA00071) – One count of owning, managing or operating a business that dispenses and furnishes dangerous drugs without a license from October 2013 through July 2014. Defendant Bonilla could face up to one year county jail and $5,000 fine. Arraignment date is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2014.
People v. Vicenta Munoz (4CA00047) – one count of dispensing or furnishing dangerous drugs without a license in August 2013. Pre-trial date is set for Oct. 22, 2014.
People v. Isaac Ramirez (4CA00048) – charged with dispensing or furnishing dangerous drugs without a license on August 12, 2013. Pre-trial date is set for Oct. 22, 2014.
4) People v. Ana Bahena (4CA00068) – charged with two counts for owning, managing or operating two businesses, Botanica Luz and Botanica Luz #2, that dispense and furnish dangerous drugs without a license on Nov. 9, 2013. The maximum penalty is two years county jail and $10,000 fine. Arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2014.
People v. Gloria Fuentes (4CA00051) – charged with two counts of dispensing or furnishing dangerous drugs without a license on two dates in August 2013. PreTrial is set for Oct. 14, 2014.
Deputy City Attorneys Travis Austin and Mark Lambert of the City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit are prosecuting the cases.