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Intellectual Property Rights
03/28/2017

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New Jersey man charged with smuggling and dispensing misbranded drugs

NEWARK — A former Atlantic County, New Jersey, man was charged in connection with a scheme to smuggle misbranded drugs into the country and dispense drugs without a valid prescription.  The charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Marc Merwin Snyder, 64, formerly of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy, three counts of smuggling of misbranded drugs, one count of receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs, four counts of misbranding by dispensing prescription drugs without a valid prescription, four counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.

Snyder was located in China’s Jiangsu Sheng Province earlier in the month and was deported back to the United States to face the pending charges. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Camden on Dec. 9, 2015.

“Mr. Snyder’s arrest and deportation from China is yet another reminder of how we will use all available means to capture individuals who disregard the rule of law,” said Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola, Homeland Security Investigations Newark Field office. “Drugs are bad and fake drugs are worse –Outstanding effort by HSI Newark and our law enforcement partners,” he added.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the American public by enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), a law intended to assure that drugs are safe, effective, and bear accurate labeling containing all required information. The FDA regulates the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of all drugs shipped or received in interstate commerce.

Between May 7, 2010, through July 25, 2013, Snyder allegedly received by mail from India various parcels that were accompanied by incomplete or misleading U.S. Customs declarations. The parcels contained prescription drugs, including unapproved generics that contained the active ingredients in the popular brand-name drugs Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, as well as unapproved Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Snyder then repackaged these wholesale quantities of drugs into smaller amounts and dispensed them to consumers. Snyder did not seek FDA approval to market these drugs nor was he licensed as a pharmacist in the State of New Jersey or otherwise authorized to prescribe or dispense prescription drugs. The parcels Snyder shipped through the U.S. Postal Service contained misbranded drugs that did not bear the FDA-approved labeling.

Snyder allegedly caused to be shipped 27 parcels addressed to him in Egg Harbor that contained more than 25,000 tablets of unapproved generic drugs containing Tadalifil (active ingredient in Cialis) and 28,000 tablets of Sildenafil Citrate (active ingredient in Viagra).

All counts in the indictment are punishable by fine. The conspiracy count carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison. The three counts of smuggling each carry a carry a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison; one count of receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs, four counts of misbranding by dispensing prescription drugs without a valid prescription, four counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce each carry a maximum potential penalty of up to three years in prison. All counts carry a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/29/2017