Skip to main content
March 23, 2023El Paso, TX, United StatesNarcotics

HSI El Paso seizes 10,617 doses of counterfeit prescription drugs imported from Mexico

HSI El Paso special agents seized 10,617 doses of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs from area businesses, including a flea market stand.

EL PASO, Texas — Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso seized more than 10,000 doses of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs March 17 from area businesses, including a grocery store and flea market.

The seizures were the result of an HSI El Paso Commercial Fraud Group investigation with collaboration from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and industry representatives. The investigation revealed the prescription drugs and counterfeit pharmaceuticals were illegally imported from Mexico.

Special agents seized 10,617 doses of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs, all controlled substances in the United States, used to treat conditions from cough and cold symptoms to cancer. Pharmaceutical industry representatives who participated in the case confirmed that the seized doses were controlled or counterfeit medications.

“Aside from the risks involved with auto-medicating that may cause drug resistance, buying medications that require a prescription from unauthorized sellers and consuming them poses a great danger; they may contain toxic, possibly fatal, doses of dangerous ingredients,” said HSI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola. “Consumers should be cautious because the packaging and form of counterfeit medicines may resemble authentic medications. The best practice is to buy medications with a legitimate prescription from locations with a licensed pharmacist on site.”

HSI special agents and investigative consultant agents presented cease and desist notices to four businesses regarding the sales of prescription only, misbranded, and/or potentially counterfeit pharmaceuticals. HSI agents seized the medications for violation of the introduction into interstate commerce of a drug that is adulterated or misbranded.

HSI special agents seized pharmaceuticals and drugs in the following locations:

  • Ortiz Produce and Groceries, 1331 Medea Drive, Clint
  • Bronco Swap Meet, 8410 Alameda Ave., El Paso
  • Mi Mercadito, 11401 North Loop Drive, Socorro
  • Mi Tienda, 10076 North Loop Drive, El Paso

The investigation is ongoing.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 03/23/2023