- Runsdorf’s pharmaceutical company’s Houston manufacturing facility was used to produce fake cough syrup
- Marshall’s drug trafficking organization distributed the counterfeit drugs to ‘street-level abusers’
- Runsdorf was arrested earlier this year
The president of a Florida-based pharmaceutical has pleaded guilty to several drug trafficking-related violations, including the sale of fake cough syrup to recreational drug users who “abuse” the drug, authorities said. The president was accused of conspiring with drug traffickers in Houston, Texas, to sell counterfeit cough syrup in 12 states.
In a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas, attorney Brit Featherson announced that Adam P. Runsdorf of Raton, Florida, on Monday pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs and money laundering conspiracy.
Runsdorf allegedly conspired with Houston drug trafficking organization (DTO) chief Byron A. Marshall “to distribute misbranded and counterfeit cough syrup” in the following states: Wisconsin, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, California, Tennessee, Ohio, Arkansas, and Florida, the indictment shows.
Runsdorf, who is owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC, allegedly “communicated directly” with Marshall regarding the “production of the counterfeit cough syrup.” Marshall used the Woodfield Pharmaceutical drug manufacturing facility in Houston to produce over 500,000 pints of fake cough syrup, authorities said.
The prices of counterfeit cough syrup produced in the conspiracy ranged from $100 to more than $1,000 per one-pint bottle. Authorities said prices “went up as high as $3,800 to $4,000 per pint” depending on the brand and market of the cough syrup.
The indictment also revealed that the conspiracy turned out approximately $52,736,000 in drug trafficking proceeds.
Marshall and five other co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty to the said crimes.
Local publication Boca News Now reported about Runsdorf’s arrest on Jan. 22. According to the outlet, Runsdorf was arrested by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) while he was at the Woodfield Country Club Golf Course.
At the time of Runsdorf’s arrest, it was found that the scheme between Woodfield Pharmaceutical and Marshall’s DTO operated from April 2014 to April 2021.
Featherson explained how Runsdorf and Marshall’s DTO conspired to take advantage of a scarcity of the Actavis cough syrup, which was discontinued by maker Actavis Holdco U.S. due to the drug’s “widespread abuse by recreational drug users.”
Featherson noted that Runsdorf and company “sought to capitalize on the scarcity of Actavis and other prescription cough syrups by marketing counterfeit versions to street-level abusers.”
If convicted, Runsdorf, Marshall and their co-defendants in the case face a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.
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