Alabaster man charged with importing fake Viagra

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A 37-year-old Alabaster man was among five suspects arrested on charges of illegally importing fake Viagra in Atlanta, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Alabaster resident Ahmed Ali Khan and four Georgia residents were arrested on May 29 and charged with conspiring to illegally import into the United States male enhancement products containing the active ingredient in Viagra.

“These defendants are charged with importing mislabeled products that contained the active ingredient in Viagra which can only be obtained in the United States after being prescribed by a licensed physician,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “According to the indictment, they then distributed the products to retail outlets throughout the United States. The laws the defendants are charged with violating are intended to protect consumers from unknowingly using products that might cause serious side effects. Along with our law enforcement partners we will vigorously prosecute individuals who violate the food and drug laws in the way these defendants allegedly did.”

The defendants allegedly imported from China male enhancement products with names such as, “Maxman,” “Herb Viagra” and “Happy Passengers,” to sell throughout the United States.

The suspects allegedly directed their suppliers to mislabel the boxes to avoid United States import restrictions.

The defendants allegedly received the illegally imported products at multiple addresses in the Atlanta area. They rented storage units at different locations where they repackaged the products for distribution to wholesale and retail locations in the Atlanta area and throughout the United States.

In order to evade detection by law enforcement authorities, the defendants allegedly moved their illegal operations regularly, used aliases, false addresses and fake business names and misrepresented the nature of their business when renting storage units and mail boxes.

In the past three years, the defendants wire transferred more than $2 million in United States currency to bank accounts in China to pay for the illegally imported merchandise, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta.

This case is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Investigations, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations.