Indian sentenced in US for $3.5mn drug smuggling conspiracy

New York, Jan 21 (IANS) A 34 year-old Indian has been sentenced to 87 months in prison for operating a pharmacy that sold unapproved prescription drugs and controlled substances, including opioids, and shipped them from Asia into the US.
The federal court in Boston ordered Manish Kumar to pay a fine of $100,000 and sentenced him to more than seven years in prison and three months of supervised release, a statement by US attorney office, Massachusetts, said.
Kumar was a partner in Mihu Business Solutions Pvt, Ltd — a Mumbai-based drug company which he operated through multiple entities, including “All Herb Distributors”, “365 Life Group”, and “Health Life 365 Co”.
From at least 2015 until 2019, he used these entities to ship millions of illegal and unapproved prescription pills into the US to individuals who did not have prescriptions, the statement said.
He trafficked prescription drugs, including generic erectile dysfunction drugs, and Schedule II controlled substances, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and tapentadol, and Schedule IV controlled substances, such as tramadol.
Kumar’s operation directly marketed drugs to customers in the US through advertising and calls to prospective customers from call centers in India.
As part of the conspiracy, he personally directed and managed shipments of drugs from drug suppliers in Singapore and India into Massachusetts and other US states.
In total, Kumar’s drug business generated more than $3.5 million in revenue and shipped millions of illegal and unapproved pills into the US to individuals who did not have prescriptions.
After his arrest, Kumar made false statements to law enforcement in February 2020 about his involvement in the sale of controlled substances.
In October 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import misbranded prescription drugs and controlled substances; conspiracy to distribute Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances; and one count of making false statements to federal officers.

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