December 28th, 2006 10:25 EST
DEA Online Drug Ring Dismantled
(New York, NY)-Four defendants have been charged with drug distribution, money laundering and tax fraud. The joint investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service and the US Marshals Service. Four of the defendants were arrested on December 21, 2006 in Miami, Florida; Antonio Quinones, Jose Lopez, Herman Quinones and Michael Depinillos. This investigation, known as "Operation Click 4 Drugs," targeted an organization which distributed large quantities of Schedule III and Schedule IV controlled substances via the internet which resulted in the seizure of $817,000 cash, $4.2 million dollars worth of property, 2 automobiles, 1 Sea Ray marine vessel and two loaded guns.
The owner of the company, Antonio Quinones, ran this illegal organization like a business. The business’ operation would begin when a customer using the internet to buy controlled substance would visit one of the websites Quinones operated. The customer would input personal credit card information and fill out a medical questionnaire in order to purchase drugs. The questionnaire would be forwarded to physicians overseas. The physicians would approve the online questionnaire, issue a prescription and email the prescription to a pharmacy. Throughout the country, pharmacies would fill out the prescriptions and ship the drugs to the customers.
A physician issuing a prescription without meeting the patient constitutes a violation of the requirement for a prescription to be for a legitimate medical purpose. During the course of this investigation, there were several undercover Internet purchases from four of the organization’s websites.
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge John P. Gilbride stated, ""Prescribing beyond the scope may sound like a title for a good novel. However, in this case, "Operation Click-for Drugs", prescribing beyond the scope is what these greedy individuals are being charged with for illegally trafficking prescription medication over the internet. This organization’s greed and disregard for the law and safety of the public put lives at risk by delivering drugs without proper medical approval. The DEA is focused on identifying and shutting down these rogue internet pharmacies in order to keep our children and our community safe from the perils of prescription drug abuse. Let this serve as a warning to those who operate rouge internet pharmacies that DEA and our law enforcement partners will find you and put you out of business.
The cases are being prosecuted by Eastern District of New York Assistant United States Attorney Marcos Ramos.
Name: Antonio Quinones
Name: Jose Lopez
Name: Herman Quinones
Name: Michael Depinillos