ABINGDON – According to United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr., the former store manager of the Carroll County Cooperative pled guilty Friday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to conspiring to defraud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Marlin Webb, 58, of Woodlawn, waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty Friday to a one-count Information charging him with conspiracy to defraud the FDA.
“Law Enforcement will continue to be vigilant in ensuring all substances sold are done legally and in-line with FDA standards,” Fishwick said. “We are proud to team with the FDA to bring charges in this important case.”
“To protect the public, the administration of prescription veterinary drugs to food-producing animals must be carefully monitored and requires the involvement of a veterinarian, among other requirements. When individuals attempt to circumvent these protections, they risk harming the public health,” said Mark A. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who ignore the law.”
According to evidence presented at Friday’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer, Marlin was the store manager at the Carroll County Cooperative, through which he illegally obtained, stored, sold and caused to be shipped veterinary prescription drugs. Federal regulation of prescription veterinary drugs are not primarily to protect animals from the potential harms of prescription drugs, but are to protect the human food supply from unsafe drug residues in the edible tissues of animals sold for slaughter. Accordingly, veterinary prescription drugs must stay within the controlled chain of distribution to ensure the drugs’ safety and efficacy.
“Marlin obtained and distributed prescription veterinary drugs outside of the controlled chain,” Fishwick said in the press release.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 30, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Abingdon. Webb faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. As part of the plea agreement, Webb paid $125,000 in forfeiture and other payments.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations and the Virginia Department of Health Professions. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States.