Eight people have been arrested in connection with importing and selling illegal foreign pharmaceuticals throughout Los Angeles, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Wednesday.
The suspects, who were not identified, are accused of importing 100,000 units of prescription drugs then selling them on street corners and in front of supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty salons and parks.
Feuer said the suspects were primarily selling and targeting Latino customers in neighborhoods including MacArthur Park, Koreatown and North Hollywood.
He warned of the costs of purchasing medications from anyone who is not a licensed medical provider.
“Let me very clear, illegal pharmaceuticals on the street may cost less, but they may not be effective, and in fact, they may have very negative consequences for people’s health,” the City Attorney said.
Officials that formed part of a health task force seized pills, compounds and injectable medication which require a prescription.
“That medicine you hoped would help you could in fact harm you instead,” Feuer said. “Don’t put your health at risk, go to a doctor, go to a pharmacy or a free or low-cost clinic when you need medicine.”
He added that a list of such clinics can be found on his website.
In a separate case, Feuer said his office shut down a website that was selling illegal, misbranded or counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
Catalina Campos and Jose Vasquez are accused of selling 75,000 doses of the drugs through Magic Blue LLC’s website and in person.
A notice shutting down the website will remain on the homepage until July 2024, Feuer said.
The Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force, which investigated these cases, is comprised of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and the California Department of Health Care Services.