A group of men were sentenced to imprisonment on June 10th for their involvement in the illegal importation and sale of erectile dysfunction drugs and tranquilisers. James Michie, aged 44 from Whitley Bridge, was sentenced to 40 months imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to import medicinal products without a licence, handling stolen goods, money laundering and conspiracy to commit Trade Mark Act offences.
Mark Parkinson from Pontefract was sentenced to 34 months imprisonment and Anthony Cunningham, also from Pontefract was given a 12 month Community Service Order and told to carry out 200 hours unpaid work. This was after pleading guilty to conspiracy to import medicinal products without a licence and conspiracy to commit Trade Mark Act offences.
An investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) found that between 2008 and 2010 Michie imported over 1.2m unlicensed erectile dysfunction tablets and over 141,000 other illegal medicines including diazepam worth over £3.5m. He later accepted payment for their sale. Parcels of the drugs were imported from India, China and Hong Kong, by Michie and handled by Cunningham and Parkinson, who worked as self-employed delivery drivers contracted to the Royal Mail.
MHRA head of enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey, said: “The scale and organisation of this criminal enterprise demonstrates the determination of the individuals involved to profit from the illegal sales of medicines. Criminals who illegally supply medicines are not concerned with the health of their customers – they only want their money.”