Two San Gabriel Valley Men will be pleading guilty to the illegal import and sale of $11 million worth of pharmaceutical-grade erectile dysfunction drugs that were falsely marketed as herbal remedies for men, the U.S. Department of justice said Thursday.
Jin Su Park, 40, of Hacienda Heights, agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of importing contraband into the United States and one felony count of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, the DOJ said.
Park’s Rowland Heights-based company, RNG Global Management and Trading Group, Inc., will also plead guilty to two felony counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
The company was selling pills called “EEZZY UP PLATINUM,” to distributors across the country, with packaging that did not disclose that the pills contained concentrated amounts Tadalafil powder—a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, the DOJ said.
High dosages of the substance can cause life-threatening drops in blood pressure, loss of vision, loss of hearing and painful and permanent injury to genitalia.
The defendant set up the company after a friend John Seil Lee, 40, of Walnut, closed down a similar company after a federal search in 2017, according to the DOJ.
Between 2011 and 2017, Lee illegally imported shipments of Tadalafil from suppliers in China and manufactured it into at least 5.5 million highly concentrated pills that he sold to distributors across the country, making around $11 million, the DOJ said.
Lee’s pill packaging also did not disclose the presence of the substance, and falsely claimed that no prescription was necessary, according to court documents.
The DOJ said that after the Food and Drug Administration announced that the pills were tainted, Lee’s company renamed and repackaged the pills, and continued distributing them.
The company’s “One More Knight” pills were rebranded as “Own the Knight” in 2016, and sales continued, the DOJ said.
Investigators discovered that Park took 14,000 of Lee’s pills and repackaged them and sold them to lee’s former distributors.
Lee and his companies will be pleading guilty to seven felony counts of conspiracy, importing contraband into the U.S., filing a false tax return, and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
The cases were investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and IRS Criminal Investigation.
Lee is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 19, and was facing a maximum sentence of 20 years for smuggling, five years for conspiracy and three years for tax fraud.
Park is scheduled to be arraigned on March 18, and was facing a maximum sentence of 20 years for the smuggling count and three years for distribution.