Contractor thieves fence API waste

Keeping an eye on your contractors?

An employee of the waste-disposal company used by Sanofi-Aventis at a plant in Kansas City, MO, pleaded guilty last week to the theft of 1,000 pounds of pseudoephedrine byproduct over the course of a decade. The employee is among the latest to confess in a conspiracy involving nine others, according to a press report. 

The thieves made off with the powder waste generated by pseudoephedrine during the manufacture of allergy medication Allegra-D. The API byproduct has an estimated street value of $7 million and was to be converted into methamphetamine worth an estimated $40 million, the report says.

The post-manufacture pseudoephedrine waste is a powder unusable for pharmaceutical production. Sanofi had hired Heritage Environmental Services to dispose of the waste material. The thieves were selling the powder for $3,000 to $10,000 per pound.

The busts follow a three-year investigation initiated when a 110-pound drum of the powder was taken during an armed robbery and kidnapping at the facility.

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