Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cops bust Portland steroids ring tied to China

by Michael Rollins and Kyle Iboshi, KGW Staff
Posted on November 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM
Updated Friday, Nov 15 at 7:50 AM


PORTLAND -- Police fanned out through the Portland area early Thursday morning and raided more than half a dozen homes connected to a steroids sales ring with ties to China.
Authorities allege the group bought powdered steroids in raw form from China, then repackaged them and then sent them all across America. The indictment say the group used a used car dealership called SJ Motors to launder money while distributing the illegal drugs.
The indictment says the group imported anabolic steroids in powder form, changed them into liquid and cap form and labeled and distributed them.
The doses used a variety of added drugs including human growth hormone, Viagra, Cialis and Arimadex, a cancer treatment drug for post-menopausal women that reduces estrogen levels.
Sixteen people have been indicted in the case but Shane Jack and Landon Britt were described as the ringleaders.Court papers show that Britt sent nearly a half-million dollars to Chinese companies for steroids over the course of a seven-year period.
The indictment says money was sent between the conspirators and factories in several Chinese cities with banks in Hong Kong acting as a financial intermediary.
Financial transactions and shipments date back to 2006, with most listed in the past two years. The drugs were shipped from a post office on Southeast 82nd Avenue to as far east as North Carolina.
The indictment lists counts of conspiracy to import and distribute illegal drugs; carrying or using a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime and international money laundering.
Named in the indictment were Shane Jack and wife Georgia Jack of the Duke address; Landon Britt of the Harold address; Ronald Stoltenberg of the Vancouver address; Brandon Lyons, who lives in Portland and Clackamas and is the son of defendant Rebecca Erickson and step-son of Doug Erickson, both of Portland.
The accused also include James Longoria Jr., of Clackamas, Matthew Bowen of Tualatin, Christopher Bowden of Beaverton, Travis Monteith of Fairview, Bradley Hollibaugh of Otis Orchards, Wash., Ali Shaghaghi of Seattle, Benjamin Luck and German Martin McCubbin, who live in California and Keith Kofoed who lives in California and North Carolina.
Buildings raided were in Portland at 8116 SE Duke St.; 12523 SE Harold St.,Unit 106 of the Altamont Luxury Apartments,9701 SE Johnson Creek Blvd; 7185 Los Verdes Drive, Gladstone and Vancouver at 518 SE 102nd Drive.
The agencies involved in the investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals, the U.S. Postal Service and Portland Police.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Asia Pharma Targeted by Obama

President Obama is now targeting Asia Pharma distributor as KingPin, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Act.

I started writing about this subject a while back, and ended up putting it off due to time constraints. As I was looking through the blog today I figured I better finish the article as to remind people of the possible consequences. The scary thing is, the US is classifying steroid dealers like the violent drug cartels importing the most dangerous of drugs. This is not new breaking news. Caveat Emptor ~ Buyer Beware

Mihael Karner owner and operator of Asia Pharma in the eyes of the US government is now as dangerous as violent Columbian and Mexican drug cartels. Steroids have now basically been classified as much a threat as Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth.

This means that the US can now seize Karners properties and assets under US jurisdiction. What this also means is any Americans, or US companies who conduct business with Asia Pharma or any other companies Karner owns are also subject to seizures and sanctions.

Karner has sold steroids world wide for over a decade. He has shell companies in tax heavens to protect his millions in profits. Karner, his wife and his brother were indicted in Massachusetts  federal court in 2010 on three counts of money laundering, conspiracy, and distributing and importing steroids. He and his wife were detained in Austria in December of 2010, made bail in April of 2012 and fled to his Native Slovenia while fighting extradition. Slovenia currently has no extradition treaty with the US.

The next month, he was declared a fugitive by the U.S. Justice Department, and by August, Austria issued arrest warrants for them both. Treasury’s spokesman said that though his trafficking organization has been disrupted, Karner continues to operate from Slovenia. The steroids are made in India and Greece, the spokesman said, and they’re shipped to customers in Eastern Europe and the U.S. Hundreds of websites advertising the steroids are managed in Malaysia under his umbrella company, which is called Asia Pharma. "Dear Mr. Chairman: (Madam Chairman:) (Dear Representative:) (Dear Senator:) (Dear Mr. Vice Chairman:) This report to the Congress, under section 804(a) of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, 21 U.S.C. 1903(b)(1) (the "Kingpin Act"), transmits my designations of the following six foreign individuals and groups as appropriate for sanctions under the Kingpin Act and reports my direction of sanctions against them under the Act: Mihael Karner (Slovenia) Haji Khotwal Noorzai (Afghanistan) Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano (Mexico) Los Caballeros Templarios (Mexico) Los Urabeños (Colombia) Los Cachiros (Honduras) Sincerely, BARACK OBAMA"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Careful what You Put in Your body 'It Could Be From the Gutter'

I find this article interesting, and it makes me wonder just how many AAS coming out of China are manufactured in the same way. Scary to think that one may be injecting oils that may have been in a McDonalds fryer in down town Beijing just moments before the AAS oils were manufactured. Read this article, it will really make you think about what you could be putting into your body. - NML

Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers caught using 'gutter oil' to make antibiotics

Sunday, September 09, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes

As China continues to rise as the new Asian powerhouse, there has been a steady stream of reports which have detailed the country's staggering lack of standards when it comes to producing manufactured goods, so it was only mildly shocking to learn that authorities there are now looking at charges that some of the country's pharmaceutical companies are using disgusting "gutter oil" to make antibiotics.

For the uninformed (which included me before I came across this story), gutter oil is essentially reprocessed kitchen waste dredged from restaurant drains.

While you're getting a mental picture, read on: Chinese authorities are responding to reports that drug makers may have used it to manufacture antibiotics instead of the more expensive (and, most likely, much cleaner) soybean oil.

What's more, the gutter oil has apparently been at the heart of several food-safety scandals in China in recent months, the BBC reported, quoting Chinese officials - though in typical fashion, the government was secretive, saying it would release its findings soon without providing additional details.

Disgusting gutter oil prevalent throughout Chinese manufacturing

Disgust factor aside, it wasn't clear whether the gutter-oiled antibiotics posed any risk to public health. But nonetheless, the incident highlights how thoroughly Beijing, while remaining socialistic and authoritarian, has nonetheless embraced quasi-capitalist principles of cutting corners to control costs and boost profits.

The British news giant reported that repeated food-contamination scandals, with gutter oilbeing only the most recent of them, have roiled China's massive population and have caused no small amount of alarm and mistrust.

In April, for instance, state-run media outlets reported on how authorities had begun cracking down on underground workshops that utilized decomposing animal fat and organs to produce more of the gutteroil, which apparently can be "manufactured" from a number of equally disgusting sources.

Police then said most of that oil had been sold to oil manufacturers for food production, no less, and for making hotspot soup - a local cuisine - in restaurants.

A year ago, meanwhile, Chinese police arrested 32 people in connection with an operation to prevent the sale of gutter oil as cooking oil. In that case, more than 100 tons of oil was produced by six underground factories; authorities seized the massive amount in raids that stretched across 14 provinces.

And in 2008, at least six infants died and a staggering 300,000 more were made ill after drinking baby formula that had been tainted with the chemical melamine.

'Made in China' is a detriment here in the U.S. as well

An earlier report by NaturalNews documented how the food chain "Whole Foods," which built its reputation in large part on selling organic food, provided details about how many of that company's signature products came not from U.S. farms but from China.

At more than 175 stores nationwide, Whole Foods promotes a homegrown concept, but many of the supermarket chain's goods are marked "Product of China."

What's wrong with that? Well; for one, importing food from China is anathema to Whole Foods' concept of "locally grown" and "organic." For another, China's agricultural development regulations are nowhere near as stringent as they are in the U.S.

And finally, despite Whole Foods' assurances to the contrary, how is a consumer - or the company, for that matter - to know whether all of its Chinese-grown products are indeed pesticide-free?

It should be noted that food sold in the U.S. has to first be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture before it can display the "organic" label, by regulation. That not only ensures it's safe but that it was grown in the manner advertised.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

Here we go again. The US government abusing their powers to exploit the American public. Demanding passwords from ISP's? Are you kidding me? I am not sure how to stop this or even begin to fight these problems we face today with the tyrannical government we have adopted. All I can do is help educate the people. Help get the word out. - NoMoreLies

Secret demands mark escalation in Internet surveillance by the federal government through gaining access to user passwords, which are typically stored in encrypted form.

(Credit: Photo illustration by James Martin/CNET)              

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.
If the government is able to determine a person's password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.
"I've certainly seen them ask for passwords," said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We push back."
A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies "really heavily scrutinize" these requests, the person said. "There's a lot of 'over my dead body.'"
Some of the government orders demand not only a user's password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password. Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.

This is one of those unanswered legal questions: Is there any circumstance under which they could get password information?"
--Jennifer Granick, Stanford University 

A Microsoft spokesperson would not say whether the company has received such requests from the government. But when asked whether Microsoft would divulge passwords, salts, or algorithms, the spokesperson replied: "No, we don't, and we can't see a circumstance in which we would provide it."
Google also declined to disclose whether it had received requests for those types of data. But a spokesperson said the company has "never" turned over a user's encrypted password, and that it has a legal team that frequently pushes back against requests that are fishing expeditions or are otherwise problematic. "We take the privacy and security of our users very seriously," the spokesperson said.
A Yahoo spokeswoman would not say whether the company had received such requests. The spokeswoman said: "If we receive a request from law enforcement for a user's password, we deny such requests on the grounds that they would allow overly broad access to our users' private information. If we are required to provide information, we do so only in the strictest interpretation of what is required by law."
Apple, Facebook, AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast did not respond to queries about whether they have received requests for users' passwords and how they would respond to them.
Richard Lovejoy, a director of the Opera Software subsidiary that operates FastMail, said he doesn't recall receiving any such requests but that the company still has a relatively small number of users compared with its larger rivals. Because of that, he said, "we don't get a high volume" of U.S. government demands.
The FBI declined to comment.
Some details remain unclear, including when the requests began and whether the government demands are always targeted at individuals or seek entire password database dumps. The Patriot Act has been used to demand entire database dumps of phone call logs, and critics have suggested its use is broader. "The authority of the government is essentially limitless" under that law, Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who serves on the Senate Intelligence committee, said at a Washington event this week.
Large Internet companies have resisted the government's requests by arguing that "you don't have the right to operate the account as a person," according to a person familiar with the issue. "I don't know what happens when the government goes to smaller providers and demands user passwords," the person said.
An attorney who represents Internet companies said he has not fielded government password requests, but "we've certainly had reset requests -- if you have the device in your possession, than a password reset is the easier way."

Source code to a C implementation of bcrypt, a popular algorithm used for password hashing.
(Credit: Photo by Declan McCullagh)

Cracking the codes
Even if the National Security Agency or the FBI successfully obtains an encrypted password, salt, and details about the algorithm used, unearthing a user's original password is hardly guaranteed. The odds of success depend in large part on two factors: the type of algorithm and the complexity of the password.
Algorithms, known as hash functions, that are viewed as suitable for scrambling stored passwords are designed to be difficult to reverse. One popular hash function called MD5, for instance, transforms the phrase "National Security Agency" into this string of seemingly random characters: 84bd1c27b26f7be85b2742817bb8d43b. Computer scientists believe that, if a hash function is well-designed, the original phrase cannot be derived from the output.
But modern computers, especially ones equipped with high-performance video cards, can test passwords scrambled with MD5 and other well-known hash algorithms at the rate of billions a second. One system using 25 Radeon-powered GPUs that was demonstrated at a conference last December tested 348 billion hashes per second, meaning it would crack a 14-character Windows XP password in six minutes.
The best practice among Silicon Valley companies is to adopt far slower hash algorithms -- designed to take a large fraction of a second to scramble a password -- that have been intentionally crafted to make it more difficult and expensive for the NSA and other attackers to test every possible combination.
One popular algorithm, used by Twitter and LinkedIn, is called bcrypt. A 2009 paper (PDF) by computer scientist Colin Percival estimated that it would cost a mere $4 to crack, in an average of one year, an 8-character bcrypt password composed only of letters. To do it in an average of one day, the hardware cost would jump to approximately $1,500.
But if a password of the same length included numbers, asterisks, punctuation marks, and other special characters, the cost-per-year leaps to $130,000. Increasing the length to any 10 characters, Percival estimated in 2009, brings the estimated cracking cost to a staggering $1.2 billion.
As computers have become more powerful, the cost of cracking bcrypt passwords has decreased. "I'd say as a rough ballpark, the current cost would be around 1/20th of the numbers I have in my paper," said Percival, who founded a company called Tarsnap Backup, which offers "online backups for the truly paranoid." Percival added that a government agency would likely use ASICs -- application-specific integrated circuits -- for password cracking because it's "the most cost-efficient -- at large scale -- approach."
While developing Tarsnap, Percival devised an algorithm called scrypt, which he estimates can make the "cost of a hardware brute-force attack" against a hashed password as much as 4,000 times greater than bcrypt.
Bcrypt was introduced (PDF) at a 1999 Usenix conference by Niels Provos, currently a distinguished engineer in Google's infrastructure group, and David Mazières, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University.
With the computers available today, "bcrypt won't pipeline very well in hardware," Mazières said, so it would "still be very expensive to do widespread cracking."
Even if "the NSA is asking for access to hashed bcrypt passwords," Mazières said, "that doesn't necessarily mean they are cracking them." Easier approaches, he said, include an order to extract them from the server or network when the user logs in -- which has been done before -- or installing a keylogger at the client.
Sen. Ron Wyden, who warned this week that "the authority of the government is essentially limitless" under the Patriot Act's business records provision.
(Credit: Getty Images)
Questions of law
Whether the National Security Agency or FBI has the legal authority to demand that an Internet company divulge a hashed password, salt, and algorithm remains murky.
"This is one of those unanswered legal questions: Is there any circumstance under which they could get password information?" said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society. "I don't know."
Granick said she's not aware of any precedent for an Internet company "to provide passwords, encrypted or otherwise, or password algorithms to the government -- for the government to crack passwords and use them unsupervised." If the password will be used to log in to the account, she said, that's "prospective surveillance," which would require a wiretap order or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act order.
If the government can subsequently determine the password, "there's a concern that the provider is enabling unauthorized access to the user's account if they do that," Granick said. That could, she said, raise legal issues under the Stored Communications Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University and a former federal prosecutor, disagrees. First, he said, "impersonating someone is legal" for police to do as long as they do so under under court supervision through the Wiretap Act.
Second, Kerr said, the possibility that passwords could be used to log into users' accounts is not sufficient legal grounds for a Web provider to refuse to divulge them. "I don't know how it would violate the Wiretap Act to get information lawfully only on the ground that the information might be used to commit a Wiretap violation," he said.
The Justice Department has argued in court proceedings before that it has broad legal authority to obtain passwords. In 2011, for instance, federal prosecutors sent a grand jury subpoena demanding the password that would unlock files encrypted with the TrueCrypt utility.
The Florida man who received the subpoena claimed the Fifth Amendment, which protects his right to avoid self-incrimination, allowed him to refuse the prosecutors' demand. In February 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit agreed, saying that because prosecutors could bring a criminal prosecution against him based on the contents of the decrypted files, the man "could not be compelled to decrypt the drives."
In January 2012, a federal district judge in Colorado reached the opposite conclusion, ruling that a criminal defendant could be compelled under the All Writs Act to type in the password that would unlock a Toshiba Satellite laptop.
Both of those cases, however, deal with criminal proceedings when the password holder is the target of an investigation -- and don't address when a hashed password is stored on the servers of a company that's an innocent third party.
"If you can figure out someone's password, you have the ability to reuse the account," which raises significant privacy concerns, said Seth Schoen, a senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Last updated on July 26 at 12 p.m. PT with comments from Orin Kerr. A previous update added comment from Yahoo, which responded after this article was published.
Disclosure: McCullagh is married to a Google employee not involved with this issue.

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DHS ‘Constitution Free’ Zones Inside US Ignored By Media

How does this happen in the land of the free? How does this go on in the United States of America? Do we really need the government to protect us to the point it violates our rights as Americans? Wake up people.  We are living in in a time where our freedoms are being challenged. The government has the ball and their headed for the endzone. It's time we wake up and take that ball back along with our freedoms. We need to send a message to Washington, and we can do this by exercising the rights we still hold. Get out out and vote people. Tell Washington that were sick and tired of being sick and tired. Read your Constitution, know the rights that were fought for and granted to us as Americans. It's time we take things like this seriously - NoMoreLies

Anthony Gucciardi
August 6, 2013
In what should be front page news blasted out nationwide as a breaking news alert, the DHS has openly established extensive ‘Constitution free zones’ in which your Fourth Amendment does not exist.
It’s not ‘conspiracy’ and it’s not fraud, the DHS has literally created an imaginary ‘border’ within the United States that engulfs 100 miles from every single end of the nation. Within this fabricated ‘border’, the DHS can search your electronic belongings for no reason. We’re talking about no suspicion, no reasonable cause, nothing. No reason whatsoever is required under their own regulations. The DHS is now above the Constitution under their own rules, and even Wired magazine authors were amazed at the level of pure tyranny going on here.


This ‘border’ even includes where the US land meets oceans in addition to legitimate borders with Mexico and Canada. As a result, you have over 197 million citizens suffocated in these 100 mile ‘border zones’ that include major cities like New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Checkout the graphic below for a visual representation, with the orange area representing the Constitution free zone as designated by the DHS:

What’s even more amazing, is that this has been going on since 2008. That’s about 5 years of absolute unconstitutional abuse of power by the Department of Homeland Security that the media fails to even document. That’s 197 million citizens living without a Constitution as far as the DHS is concerned, and apparently the Department of Justice (DOJ) must be pretty content too. Amazingly, no one has challenged this besides the ACLU, which was contacted following the case of a man who was actually detained within the 100 mile ‘border’ area.

Not only was this man’s laptop searched for no reason, as is ‘allowed’ under DHS code now, but they ended up finding pictures designated to be linked up with ‘terrorist’ groups. In response, the man was thrown in a cell while DHS agents went through every piece of data on his entire laptop. The ACLU is now suing over this event, but there’s no telling how the case will go with such limited media exposure. The DHS is literally gutting the Constitution and declaring itself higher than the law of the land by doing this, and it spells out major trouble for the entire Bill of Rights at large.

Because if the DHS can simply ‘overrule’ the Fourth Amendment for 197 million citizens, it can also ‘overrule’ the First and Second Amendments as well. What’s stopping them? It’s highly illegal under the Constitution, but it appears they truly don’t care. And to demonstrate just how little they truly care, they have even gone and ‘reviewed’ themselves for their own actions following outcry from some legal experts.
To break it down: back in 2008 there was outrage from those who actually value the Constitution and understand how the bloated DHS entity works, so the DHS promised to prove within 120 days that what they were doing was constitutional and legal. Years later, the report came out to reveal that the DHS actually reviewed itself and determined that it was acting 100% properly. It also founds that everything it was doing was ‘constitutional’ because it was not actually removing the Constitution from United States soil, only the ‘border’.
The ‘border’ that expands 100 miles and includes 197 million people.
This news should be on the front page of every single news organization in the world, but the sad reality is that it’s not. It’s up to the alternative news, the real news, to report on this. It’s up to me to make videos about this, it’s up to the alternative news to syndicate it out, and it’s up to you to share this. It’s time to reclaim our Constitution and tell the DHS we won’t live in Constitution free zones any longer.
Orignally appeared at Story Leak

Monday, July 22, 2013

Brian Wainstein Fighting Extradition to the United States

The man dubbed the “steroid king” is fighting to stay out of jail pending a decision by the minister of justice to deport him to the US where he is wanted for allegedly dealing in steroids worth R76 million. Brian Wainstein’s extradition inquiry was heard in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. It is alleged that Wainstein, 48, who is wanted by Interpol, smuggled steroids worth about R76m for more than a decade. He had been living in Cape Town for months but was arrested after an altercation with a neighbor at his luxury flat at the V&A Waterfront on January 19. When he appeared in court two days later, he was granted bail of R500 000 on condition that he hand his passport to police, and report to the Sea Point police station every day. This was later relaxed to twice a week. According to the charge sheet, a warrant for his arrest was issued by the District of Tennessee in the US. South Africa and the US have an extradition treaty. On Thursday, Anton Katz SC, for Wainstein, opposed the extradition inquiry, saying Dave Damerell, for the State, had to prove each aspect presented to the court. “There is a man whose liberty is at stake and a State who wants to take it. They must prove it (the documents),” Katz said. “Accuracy and attention to detail is important regarding the documents and evidence relied upon.” Katz argued that the documents which formed part of the extradition request were not authentic and therefore could not form part of the evidence before magistrate Caron Lehman. He called on her to rule that the documents were inadmissible. But Damerell said assistant US attorney Brent Hannafin had made an affidavit and confirmed under oath that the documents were genuine. A US clerk attested that the documents were genuine and US special agent Alex Davis had also made an affidavit. “Davis’s affidavit is also made under oath. So you have affidavits and supporting documents,” Damerell said.

Waseem Enterprises Owners Busted and Extradited to United States

 Waseement.com owners have been busted and extradited to the US. Both are Pakistani nationals. Waseement was a pretty large operation that was in business for several years. They also conducted business as Harry’s Enterprises.
 Its so typical because most of what I have read surrounds the shipments of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, but these guys were shipping all kinds of drugs from Pakistan and the UK. Here is some info from the FBI.

WASHINGTON—Two Pakistani nationals have been extradited to the United States to face charges alleging that they operated Internet sites that illegally shipped pharmaceuticals from Pakistan and the United Kingdom to customers in the United States.
Sheikh Waseem Ul Haq, 40, and Tahir Saeed, 51, are accused of operating Internet sites that, since late 2005, illegally shipped $2 million in pharmaceuticals from Pakistan and the United Kingdom to customers worldwide, including nearly $780,000 in sales to U.S. purchasers.
The defendants, who were arrested in London last fall, have been arraigned in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. They were brought to the District of Columbia by the U.S. Marshals Service. Ul Haq had his first court appearance today. Saeed was arraigned on April 18, 2013. Both remain in custody pending further proceedings.
The developments were announced by Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Antoinette V. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the Metro Washington Field Office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations; Gary R. Barksdale, Inspector in Charge, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The defendants were indicted November 6, 2012, following a presentation of evidence by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, working in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch. The 48-count indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to import controlled substance pharmaceuticals into the United States; conspiracy to distribute controlled substance pharmaceuticals; conspiracy to introduce misbranded pharmaceuticals into interstate commerce; importation and distribution of controlled substance pharmaceuticals; introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded drugs; and conspiracy to commit international money laundering. It also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds that can be traced to the scheme.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for each of the two counts involving the conspiracy to import and distribute controlled substances, as well as up to 20 years for the conspiracy to commit international money laundering. They face a maximum penalty of five years for conspiracy to introduce misbranded pharmaceuticals into interstate commerce and additional time if convicted of the other charges.
According to the indictment, the defendants and others owned, operated, and conducted business as Waseem Enterprises and Harry’s Enterprises, wholesale pharmaceutical companies that were located in Pakistan. The businesses were used to unlawfully distribute a wide variety of controlled substances and prescription drugs through Internet sites. The defendants and others also advertised their companies on Internet sites to generate business.
Ul Haq and Saeed directed U.S. customers to submit payments via Western Union to numerous individuals in Karachi, Pakistan, in order to conceal the fact that the funds were going to Ul Haq and Saeed. As alleged in the indictment, the defendants admitted in e-mails that they paid bribes to Pakistani customs officials to facilitate shipment of the drugs out of Pakistan and warned that U.S. customers bore the risk of interception by U.S. customs officials. The indictment alleges that the defendants packaged the drug shipments in ways that reduced the likelihood of interdiction by customs inspectors and told customers that, despite the packaging, some of the shipments might not get through.
The drugs shipped into the United States included methylphenidate (sold as Ritalin); various anabolic steroids; alprazolam (sold as Xanax); diazepam (sold as Valium); lorazepam (sold as Ativan); clonazepam (sold as Klonapin); and other controlled and non-controlled substances.
The strict statutes and regulations for pharmaceuticals—allegedly bypassed in this case by the defendants’ conduct—are designed to protect consumers from adulterated, contaminated, and counterfeit drugs and to ensure that medically necessary drugs are dispensed by licensed pharmacists who are filling legitimately issued prescriptions by licensed physicians.
In early October 2012, a law enforcement task force investigating the case learned that the defendants would be traveling from Pakistan to northern Europe. With the assistance of Interpol and law enforcement agents in Germany and the United Kingdom, the defendants were tracked from Germany to London. With coordination from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, U.S. authorities lodged provisional arrest warrants for the defendants in the United Kingdom.
The defendants were arrested by the London Metropolitan Police Service Fugitive Squad at a hotel near Heathrow Airport on October 19, 2012. They subsequently were presented to Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London and ordered held pending extradition to the United States. On March 25, 2013, the United Kingdom Minister of State issued extradition orders for both defendants, which became final when neither defendant appealed.
* * *
“These defendants are accused of taking part in an international conspiracy to sell and ship unregulated pharmaceuticals to American consumers, without any doctors involved,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “The extradition of these Pakistani nationals demonstrates our commitment to aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who are intent on shipping unregulated and potentially dangerous drugs into the United States.”
“The illegal sale of prescription drugs by Internet pharmacies operating around the world presents a serious threat to public health and safety,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “Together with our federal, state, loca,l and international law enforcement partners, the FBI will continue to diligently investigate the fraudulent sale of controlled prescription drugs to protect our citizens from this danger.”
“The FDA will aggressively pursue those who offer drugs for sale over the Internet that are of unknown safety and efficacy, bypassing FDA’s regulatory authority and placing citizens at risk,” said Antoinette V. Henry, Metro Washington OCI Field Office.
* * *
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This investigation was sponsored and supported by the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office; the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The U.S. Marshals Service provided assistance. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Dominguez and Linda I. Marks, Senior Litigation Counsel for the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, who coordinated the investigation and presented the evidence to the grand jury.
Information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Research Chem Supplier Busted for Identity Theft

Is this someone we have all come to know and love (or thought we knew)?

By Jo Ciavaglia Staff writer
The story that John Ryall offered about the $14,000 cash and eight credit cards in his hotel room, and the plastic bags filled with chemicals in his sports utility vehicle sounded hard to believe to police.
His grandma gave him the money to start a chemical research company, Ryall told Bensalem police earlier this month after they showed up at a Route 1 hotel room where he was staying with a woman whom police say had an outstanding arrest warrant.
The 2 kilograms of white powder and nearly 250 gel capsules in his SUV were used to make drugs to treat erectile dysfunction and an anti-estrogen pill, he allegedly told them. The credit and debit cards were given to him by friends, Ryall claimed.
Bensalem police say parts of Ryall’s claims were true, but there is far more to the story.
Now, Ryall, 34, and Jennifer Claherty, 35, both from Palmyra, Pa., are facing charges of receiving stolen property and multiple counts of identity theft, conspiracy and access device crimes.
Police say their investigation began May 3 after a tip that Claherty could be found at the Route 1 motel. She had an active arrest warrant out of Scranton, where she was wanted on charges of receiving stolen property and conspiracy, according to online court records
At the motel, police found Claherty and Ryall, as well as the debit and credit cards, which were not in either of their names, $14,016 cash, and 41 unidentified yellow capsules in the room, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Ryall claimed the money was part of a $17,000 lawsuit settlement and the pills were from his chemical research company, police said.
After police arrested Claherty on the warrant, they said they found a Social Security card and change of address card in different women’s names in her belongings. The change of address card was in the name of Ryall’s grandmother, Edna Navratil.
Later, in a police interview, Ryall changed his story about the money, claiming it was part of a $17,200 gift from Navratil to help start his new chemical research business, according to the affidavit. Ryall also admitted he paid four people $100 apiece to take out credit cards in their names and he used those cards as well as the Social Security card found in Claherty’s belongings, according to the affidavit.
And those yellow capsules?
Ryall said he made them with chemicals bought from China to produce effects similar to Viagra, and an anti-estrogen used by anabolic steroid users, according to court papers.
At first Ryall’s story seemed to check out, police said. Claherty confirmed it, they added. Navratil also confirmed she gave Ryall $15,000 to $20,000, according to police.
But as the investigation progressed, the story started disintegrating, police said. They added that the money was likely stolen from a man whom Ryall claimed was a former business partner. That man’s name was on debit and credit cards in the motel room, police added.
Police said they also learned that Navratil was arrested April 30 for attempting to pass a fraudulent check for $6,600 from an account listed for a business owned by Ryall’s former partner. She also allegedly passed four other bad checks, totaling more than $31,000, through the same man’s account at other banks.
The chemicals that police found in the SUV — Tamoxifen and Tadalafil — are used for treating breast cancer and erectile dysfunction, but both require a doctor’s prescription, and a license to distribute and manufacture, police said. Claherty and Ryall don’t have either, court papers show.
Police also discovered that the Social Security card in Claherty’s possession was reported stolen years ago.
Ryall was arraigned Wednesday before Bensalem Judge Joseph Falcone on receiving stolen property and multiple counts of identity theft and access device crimes. He was sent to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $250,000 bail. Claherty was arraigned earlier this month on similar charges and is free on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Medford OR Man Busted for Steroids and Viagra


By chris conrad
Mail Tribune
A Medford man faces felony counts for selling 18,000 doses of illegal steroids and hundreds of doses of drugs that help with male sexual dysfunction. Medford police say they believe it's the largest steroid case in the department's history and think the drugs likely would have been sold to bodybuilders looking to "get ripped."
Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement, or MADGE, investigators are still investigating how Rafael Rene Fernandez, 39, received such large amounts of liquid anabolic steroid, Viagra and Cialis.
These drugs require a prescription to obtain, MADGE Lt. Brett Johnson said.
"We believe (Fernandez) was getting these drugs through the mail," Johnson said.
On Wednesday, MADGE investigators served a search warrant at Fernandez's house on Cedar Links Drive. They found 18,000 doses of liquid anabolic steroid, 250 doses of Viagra, and 1.8 pounds of a white powder believed to be Viagra and Cialis, Johnson said.
Investigators believe Fernandez was essentially operating an illicitpharmacy out of his home, Johnson said.
"He was making the capsules himself and blending the steroids with sterile water to make it into a larger quantity product," Johnson said.
The steroids and capsules were placed in homemade packaging labeled "Superior Labs," a company name that Fernandez concocted, perhaps to give his products an image of legitimacy.
MADGE found sales records and $15,707 in cash, which is believed to be the proceeds of drug sales, Johnson said.
"It looked to be quite a profitable business for him based on the proceeds we found at the house," Johnson said. "However, he was not a doctor or a pharmacist."
MADGE is investigating whether Fernandez had any local buyers. It is believed he was selling to people from out of the area, based on the amount of drugs found inside the home.
"We think he was packaging it and selling it to other dealers across the country," Johnson said.
This is most likely the largest steroid bust in Medford police history, Johnson said.
"We've never had an anabolic steroid case this large," he said. "We've caught people with user quantities, but never dealer quantity like this."
Johnson said the availably of the drugs through the mail is troubling.
"You can certainly find this stuff and order it from other countries," Johnson said.
MADGE is working to find out the estimated street value of each steroid dose. The agency is taking a crash course on steroid economics, Johnson said.
"I can tell you how much meth and heroin go for on the street, but we have no idea about steroids," Johnson said. "But we are looking forward to finding out something new."
Johnson speculates the steroids were mostly sold to body builders elsewhere in the country.
"They were probably headed to people in gyms who want to get ripped and do it the wrong way," Johnson said.
In addition to the steroids and Viagra, other substances were found that have yet to be identified. One substance could be human growth hormone, which has made headlines recently as the performance-enhancing drug of choice among professional athletes.
Personal trainer Brandon Overstreet, who lives in Talent and works throughout the valley, said some people feel the need to take shortcuts like steroids to get in shape.
"It's sad, really," Overstreet said. "It's cheating, not to mention all the damage it can do to your body."
Overstreet said there are a few people in most gyms who use performance-enhancing drugs.
"It's everywhere," he said. "You have guys who do it and you have guys who sell it."
Overstreet said he knew people in college who used steroids. The results were disturbing, he said.
"They became quick-tempered ... it turned them into monsters," he said.
Fernandez was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of delivery, manufacture and possession of steroids, delivery, manufacture and possession of Viagra and delivery and manufacture of Cialis.
Delivery and manufacture of steroids is a felony under Oregon law. The rest of the charges were misdemeanors, Johnson said.
Fernandez was lodged in jail on $18,000 bail.