Local man busted in $660K scheme to import dangerous drugs from China and sell them as supplements, feds say

An Allentown man imported banned drugs from China, then labored with two males from Texas to go them off as natural dietary supplements to their unwitting clients, in accordance to a federal indictment.

The indictment unsealed June 11 says Leandro Rodriguez of Allentown earned greater than $660,000 for his half in the scheme to import the drugs between April 2011 and March 2017.

His lawyer, Kathryn Roberts, stated it’s not clear whether or not Rodriguez knew the substances he ordered had been banned in the U.S.

According to the indictment, Rodriguez imported Sibutramine from China, which is the energetic ingredient in the burden loss drug Meridia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of Meridia in 2010 due to the danger of cardiovascular episodes and strokes, the indictment says.

Rodriguez additionally imported Phenolphthalein, a laxative acknowledged as not secure in 1999 due to most cancers dangers, the indictment says. He additionally imported Tadalafil, the energetic ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis, the indictment says. Lilly had the unique rights to distribute Cialis in the course of the time coated in the indictment.

The indictment says Rodriguez ordered the drugs on the path of Eric Trevino of Donna, Texas, and Trevino’s brother-in-law, Jaime Carillo Haro of Pharr, Texas.

“There is clear evidence that he was importing those supplements from China. The problem is in whether he had any idea that they contained a banned substance. That is crux of the issue as the case goes forward,” Roberts stated Friday.

The drugs had been bought as natural dietary supplements although they contained the banned or patented substances, the indictment says. Trevino repeatedly misled clients who referred to as or emailed with questions in regards to the merchandise and the dangers of taking them, the indictment says.

Rodriguez ran a enterprise referred to as Lean on Nature, which bought the capsules by mail order, the indictment says. Trevino’s enterprise, Mary’s Health and Beauty, bought them direct to customers and over the web, the indictment says. Carillo Haro’s enterprise, Amigo Natural Products, bought them by mail order and at a flea market stall, the indictment says.

The indictment says Rodriguez earned $669,279, Trevino earned $195,558 and Carillo Haro earned $473,691 from the rip-off.

Each of the three is charged with legal conspiracy. Trevino is charged with three counts every of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to mislead and distribution of a managed substance. Carillo Haro is charged with two counts every of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to mislead and distribution of a managed substance.

Rodriguez was launched June 13 on $50,000 unsecured bail to his residence in the 900 block of West Tioga Street in Allentown. Trevino was launched on $30,000 unsecured bail Friday, June 21, to his residence in Texas. Carillo Haro’s detention standing was not listed on the net courtroom docket.

Nancy MacEoin, the lawyer for Trevino, didn’t return an emailed message Friday in search of remark. The docket doesn’t record an lawyer or road handle for Carrilo Haro.

Rudy Miller could also be reached at rmiller@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @RudyMillerLV. Find Easton space information on Facebook.

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