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FedEx knowingly delivered packages containing illegal prescription drugs: Prosecutors

June 14, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
FedEx knowingly delivered packages containing illegal prescription drugs: Prosecutors

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FedEx has been accused of delivering packages containing illegal prescription drugs from Internet pharmacies. Prosecutors said on Monday, as the trial began against the widely known shipping company over drug trafficking charges, that they had delivered drugs to a woman who committed suicide.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Hemann said that FedEx was reportedly aware of the drugs contained in millions of packages that they delivered over the last ten years, but shipped them regardless so they wouldn’t lose millions in revenue to its rival, UPS.

At the trial, which took place in San Francisco, Hemann said, “They faced a choice, and the choice is to stop or go, and time and time again, they went.”

The government intends to use FedEx’s previous emails as evidence.

The shipping giant has denied the allegations and proclaims that they only shipped what they believed were legal drugs from licensed pharmacies registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

FedEx attorney Cristina Arguedas said in her opening statement that the company assisted investigators in cracking down on two pharmacies that were involved in the scheme. She added that FedEx was never informed by the DEA not to ship.

Arguedas said, “If FedEx was picking up from a pharmacy that was shut down by the DEA and reopened, it had a registration issued by the DEA.”

The attorney argued that an agent with the DEA emailed FedEx back in 2006 about the suicide, but did not ask the company to do anything about the pharmacy that was shipping the drugs.

The trials is nearly two years in the making and is quite unusual because of the government’s choice to bring drug trafficking charges against a shipping company.

According to ABC News, UPS reportedly paid $40 million back in 2013 for similar allegations that stemmed from years of government crackdowns on illegal internet pharmacies that send drugs to customers without prescriptions.

Currently, no FedEx officials are facing time in jail. However, they may receive a fine of up to $1.6 billion.

Prosecutors allege that in the early 2000s, FedEx began to conspire with two Internet pharmacies to ship powerful sleeping pills, painkillers, sedatives, and other drugs to individuals who had not visited a doctor.

The government is accusing FedEx that they knew the drugs were illegal and were being sent to addicts and dealers but still chose to deliver them. Drivers for the company also began expressing safety concerns that they were being stopped by pharmacy customers who were demanding their pills.

Hemann said as he was describing the customers, “It was like ‘The Walking Dead’ your honor in some places.”

Among the charges that FedEx faces includes conspiracy to launder money and distribute controlled substances.

The trial may continue well into August before a ruling is issued by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer.

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