FedEx indicted for assisting illegal pharmacies

July 18, 2014

First Google. Now FedEx. The shipping giant was recently indicted by a federal jury in San Francisco for "knowingly and intentionally” conspiring to distribute substances from unauthorized pharmacies.

First Google. Now FedEx.

The shipping giant was recently indicted by a federal jury in San Francisco for "knowingly and intentionally” conspiring to distribute substances from unauthorized pharmacies.

U.S Justice Department officials said FedEx had previously been warned about online pharmacies not authorized to market products in this country that were using the company to distribute products.

According the indictment, both federal authorities and members of Congress informed FedEx at least 10 years ago "that illegal Internet pharmacies were using its shipping services."  The government is seeking the forfeiture of $820 million FedEx allegedly made in profits from the sales.

A FedEx spokesman said the company would fight the charges. "We will plead not guilty. We will defend against this attack on the integrity and good name of FedEx and its employees," company spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald told the Associated Press.

 

Justice Department officials said FedEx was not only warned by law enforcement, but that company employees in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia also raised safety concerns about the deliveries.

According to the indictment, FedEx employees told management that trucks "were stopped on the road by online pharmacy customers demanding packages of pills.” And that addresses on the packages were sometimes "a parking lot, school, or vacant home where several carloads of people were waiting for the FedEx driver to arrive."

Other FedEx employees reportedly complained of customers jumping on trucks and demanding the online pharmacy packages and of drivers being threatened if they insisted on making the deliveries to addresses.

The indictment alleges that FedEx did not stop shipping the packages. Instead, it began holding such packages for pick up at specific stations.

FedEx is not the first U.S. company accused of facilitating illegal drug sales.  Google recently agreed to pay $500 million to settle charges that it sold advertisements to Canada-based online pharmacies that marketed drugs to Americans in violation of U.S. law. Law enforcement officials from several states had complained about the Google sales.