Media Contact

Larissa Doucette

Francis Ortiz Gonzalez of Puerto Rico has been convicted of federal charges relating to his involvement in the large scale distribution of counterfeit drugs throughout the United States and worldwide. Ortiz Gonzalez was convicted on one count of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals following a six-day trial. An investigation by special agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) found evidence that Ortiz Gonzalez had packaged and shipped more than 160,000 counterfeit tablets during a six-month time period in 2009. The pills included counterfeits of Viagra®, Cialis®, Valium®, Xanax®, and Lipitor®. The indictment alleged that Ortiz Gonzalez distributed the products for “a criminal enterprise, allegedly headed by Bo Jiang, 34, a Chinese national whose last known residence is New Zealand,” as reported in an ICE press release. Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles, noted that consumers buying medications on the Internet should be cautious, and that counterfeit drugs “pose a serious threat to users who mistakenly assume these substances are safe.” Ortiz Gonzalez faces up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing is set for November 8, 2012, before US District Judge George Wu.