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April 3, 2017Houston, TX, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

California CEO pleads guilty in Houston to trafficking in counterfeit labels and packaging

HOUSTON — The CEO of a California-based company has entered a guilty plea to trafficking in counterfeit veterinary labels and packaging.

This guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez, Southern District of Texas. A joint investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations.

Paul S. Rodriguez Jr., 48, was the CEO of Action Packing and Design Inc. in Santa Ana, California. Between July 2015 and December 2016, Rodriguez intentionally trafficked in counterfeit labels and packaging by manufacturing, then shipping to Houston, counterfeit and trademarked Frontline, Frontline Plus and Merial veterinary product labels and packaging. The labels and packaging were originally marketed by Merial — an animal health company located in Duluth, Georgia.

During this same period, Rodriguez also intentionally trafficked in counterfeit trademarked Rimadyl labels, a veterinary product that Zoetis marketed. Zoetis is a health company located in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Sentencing for Rodriguez is set for Oct. 2. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $2 million fine. He was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.