U.S. man charged with selling illegal prescriptions nabbed in China

A New Jersey man wanted for smuggling unapproved erectile dysfunction drugs into the U.S. has been deported back to the U.S. after he was located in China by Chinese authorities there last month.

That action comes even as the feds in a separate case also charged three Canadians and their company with conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly shipping foreign-made prescription drugs to the U.S. and selling them to pharmacies there. The U.S. is also seeking the forfeiture of more than $4 million from their Barbados-registered company, Quantum Solutions.

Merwin Marc Snyder, 64, formerly of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, made an appearance in federal court last week after being located in Jiangsu Sheng Province, China, and returned to the U.S. He is charged with smuggling misbranded drugs, conspiracy and other charges, according to federal authorities. The charges carry sentences of three to 20 years in federal prison and all carry fines of up to $250,000.

Snyder was actually named in an indictment in 2015 charging that he had 27 parcels containing more than 25,000 tablets of unapproved generic Cialis and 28,000 tablets of generic Viagra, and other drugs shipped to his former home in New Jersey. Snyder allegedly then repackaged these into smaller amounts and sold them to consumers.

In the separate case, Tony Lee, Billy Lee and Tarn Uppal, all residents of Vancouver, British Columbia, are accused of having prescription drugs from Turkey, Great Britain and other countries delivered to a reshipper in the U.K. The reshipper then repackaged them in smaller packages, put what authorities called “misleading labeling and shipping documentation” on them and sent them to other reshippers in Washington state and New York state. They were repacked again and sent to three pharmacists in Western Pennsylvania that agreed to buy them. They were charged in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The FDA and other federal agencies over the past 5 years have shut down a host of companies that have imported into the U.S. counterfeit or often misbranded drugs, products made for use in other countries but not approved in the U.S. Last fall, a Pakistani man was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of sending counterfeit drugs and controlled substances into the U.S. and then sold to online pharmacies. Junaid Qadir, 33, of Karachi, Pakistan, had been indicted by a federal grand jury back in 2012 but was at bay until last year when he was arrested in Germany and held until he was extradited to the U.S.