According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a federal court in Virginia has sentenced a U.S. citizen, who owned and operated several companies in Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan, following his guilty plea to charges of introducing misbranded drugs into the United States. Mirwaiss Aminzada will serve a 15-month term of imprisonment, undergo supervised release for one year and pay restitution of more than $580,000. He allegedly used his companies to obtain chemotherapy and cosmetic drugs intended for Middle Eastern markets and sold them to Gallant Pharma, an unlicensed drug wholesaler, for resale in the United States. A Pakistani employee purportedly altered the drugs’ packaging to conceal evidence of their foreign source. He also allegedly said in an email to Aminzada that he was unable to keep chemotherapy drugs requiring refrigeration cold because electrical service in Peshawar, Pakistan, was intermittent.
Court records also reportedly showed that Aminzada “was the source of vials of tampered Botox that were missing safety caps, contained an unusual jelly-like substance and bore mismatched lot numbers and expiration dates.” This product also entered the U.S. supply chain through Gallant and was administered to some patients in New England. Twelve defendants associated with Gallant Pharma have been convicted, and two additional defendants named in the related indictment are apparently at large and believed to be in Canada. See U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, June 6, 2014.