A federal grand jury indicted courier FedEx Corp. on charges it conspired to traffic in prescription drugs by allegedly distributing the medications for illegal internet pharmacies, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
The indictment in San Francisco alleges that from 1998, internet pharmacies began selling consumers prescription drugs, including controlled substances, often without prescriptions or requiring visits to physicians for face-to-face diagnosis.
As early as 2004, the Drug Enforcement Agency, some members of Congress and the Food and Drug Administration warned FedEx that illegal pharmacies were using its shipping services to distribute drugs.
The drugs allegedly distributed to customers with no legitimate medical need included Phendimetrazine, Ambien, Phentermine, Diazepam and Alprazolam, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges the company knew it was delivering drug to dealers and addicts by 2004. Company couriers in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia expressed fear for their safety and those concerns were allegedly circulated to FedEx senior managers. Among the warnings was that FedEx trucks were stopped on the road by online pharmacy customers demanding packages of pills, tat delivery addresses were parking lots, schools or vacant homes.
In response, FedEx allegedly adopted a policy requiring Internet pharmacy packages from problem shippers to be picked up at specific addresses, rather than delivered, according to prosecutors.
The company is charged with conspiring with two Internet pharmacy organizations, Chhabra-Smoley organization from 2000 to 2008, and Superior Drugs from 2002 to 2010.
FedEx was ordered to appear in federal court in San Francisco on July 29.
Case: US v. FedEx Corp., No. CR14-380WHO