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April 24, 09

NEWS / Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Running Unlicensed Internet Pharmacy


SAN JOSE, CA—Fritz Brunz pleaded guilty today to one count of Introducing Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.

In pleading guilty, Brunz admitted that from 2003 through May 2005 he was the owner and operator of an Internet pharmacy – www.HealthyLifeMeds.com – and that that Internet pharmacy sold prescription drugs (i.e., Schedule II and IV controlled substances, such as Ritalin, Codeine, Halcion and Xanax) to customers without the required prescriptions.

According to the plea agreement, the prescription drugs sold by www.HealthyLifeMeds.com were considered misbranded because they did not contain the advertised dosage; their labeling failed to have adequate directions for use, adequate warnings against their use by children, or by persons suffering from pathological conditions under which their use might be dangerous to health, or directions and warning regarding proper dosage and methods or duration of administration or application; and their labeling and packaging was written in Spanish.

Brunz purchased the prescription drugs that the Internet pharmacy sold from companies in Mexico and other countries. He then shipped, or arranged to have shipped, the prescription drugs to his Internet customers across the United States. Neither www.HealthyLifeMeds.com nor Brunz possessed the required license to import or distribute these prescription drugs.

Brunz, 64 of Colorado Springs, Colo., was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on July 11, 2007. He was charged with one count of Introducing Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §331(a)(1), and seven counts of Distribution of a Schedule II and IV Controlled Substance Without a License or Prescription, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1).

Brunz has been released on $20,000 bail. The sentencing of Brunz is scheduled for July 29 before Judge Fogel in San Jose. The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 21 U.S.C. §331(a)(1) is 5 years and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Hanley Chew is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lauri Gomez. The prosecution is the result of a two-year investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Further Information:

Case #: No. CR 07-00431 JF

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Web site at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s Web site at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

 




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