Pharmacist could get 20 years for selling fake Viagra, Cialis on North Side

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

For years, a northwest suburban pharmacist offered to sell Viagra and Cialis pills to men without a prescription.

Now, the suspended druggist faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to buying counterfeit male-enhancement drugs online and selling them at his North Side pharmacy.

Michael Markiewicz admitted he illegally purchased the fake Viagra and Cialis from China, then dispensed them to customers at Belmont Pharmacy at 6148 W. Belmont, which he owns, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The 38-year-old Norridge resident pleaded guilty to trafficking and attempting to traffic in counterfeit Viagra; holding for sale and dispensing counterfeit Viagra. He admitted selling the fakes between 2010 and 2012, and faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $5 million in fines when he is sentenced July 8 by U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee, according to federal prosecutors.

According to the plea agreement, Markiewicz admitted he ordered about 1,600 counterfeit Viagra and Cialis tablets from China over the Internet.

The package entered the country with a customs declaration stating they contained “gift pens,” with the counterfeit drugs hidden in unlabeled plastic baggies under the pens, federal prosecutors said. Markiewicz then sold the fakes to customers who tried to buy the male-enhancement products without a prescription.

The state’s Department of Professional Regulation suspended Markiewicz’s pharmacist license and revoked the store’s pharmacy license in November 2012, though the store remains open dealing in nutrition and herbal products.

Markiewicz was charged in April 2013 with eight counts of violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; four counts of trafficking in counterfeit drugs or goods using a counterfeit mark; and three counts of smuggling. A superseding indictment was returned in March 2015 by a federal grand jury.

Source Article from http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/28711050/pharmacist
Pharmacist could get 20 years for selling fake Viagra, Cialis on North Side
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