The federal Department of Justice has filed a 15-count indictment against the FedEx Corporation for allegedly transporting and distributing illegal pharmaceutical drugs sold by illicit online pharmacies. At the core of the indictment are charges against FedEx of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, and conspiracy to distribute misbranded drugs.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA and the FDA say that they had warned FedEx of their participation in transporting illegally solicited drugs at least six times since 2004. It was in 2004 that these agencies began seriously investigating illicit online pharmacies as an increasing number of Americans began purchasing drugs from these websites.
Chhabra-Smoley Organization and Superior drugs are cited by the indictment as two of the most popular illegal internet-based pharmacies to do business with FedEx. According to the indictment, FedEx employees were aware of the situation when distributing these illegally obtained drugs but continued to do so despite the pharmacies falling into legal trouble. The indictment continuously accuses FedEx employees and executives of having knowledge of their actions and the illegal nature of these drugs.
FedEx, however, issued a statement declaring its innocence in the alleged distribution of illicit pharmaceuticals. Patrick Fitzgerald, FedEx’s senior vice president, said the company would stop shipping for the illegal pharmaceutical companies once the federal government produced a list of who those companies are. Fitzgerald claims that they have previously asked for such a list but are yet to receive one.
FedEx is suggesting that if found guilty of these charges, the company would be forced to assume criminal responsibility for the legality of the content in each of the 10 million packages it carries each day. The company reports that such action is an invasion of their customer’s privacy and therefore refuse to accept any responsibility for the distribution of these illegal pharmaceuticals.
With FedEx being the second largest for-hire trucking company in the country, the outcome of these indictments could directly impact the trucking industry.