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Financial Crimes

Woman sentenced for illegally importing "Brazilian diet pills"

CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire woman was sentenced in federal court in Concord Monday in a drug smuggling and money laundering case investigated jointly with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Elisane Garcia, 32, formerly of Hooksett, N.H., was sentenced to approximately 10months (time served) and two years of supervised release for illegally importing "Brazilian diet pills" into the U.S. The sentence was announced by John P. Kacavas, the U.S. attorney for the District of New Hampshire.

Investigators intercepted thousands of pills, known as "Brazilian diet pills," which contained fluoxetine and chlordiazepoxide, the same active ingredients as Prozac and Librium, as well as fenproporex, a drug not approved for marketing in the U.S. The pills were intended for delivery to Garcia from Brazilian suppliers that allegedly received wire transfers from her totaling nearly $45,000. The Internal Revenue Service seized and forfeited approximately $35,000 from Garcia's bank accounts.

Garcia previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges including smuggling goods into the U.S., introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded drugs, possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, and money laundering. She has been detained since her arrest and will be deported to Brazil after completion of her sentence.

In addition to ICE HSI, the case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; IRS, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; New Hampshire State Police, and INTERPOL.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clyde Garrigan and Shannon Singleton, an attorney with the FDA who was appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Hampshire.