By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 33-year-old Pakistani immigrant was sentenced in federal court this week to a year in prison and faces deportation for his role in a prescription drug smuggling and distribution operation. His brother, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced earlier to 15 months in prison.
Prosecutor Albert Glenn says the operation smuggled millions of pills including Xanax, Valium, diet and sleeping pills into the country from the Far East and distributed them — generally in 100 pill shipments that were often mislabeled, and he cites one diet drug example.
“In some cases they would label pills in a bottle called phentermine and it turned out to be a different and more dangerous drug called sibutramine. So the pills were not always what they were labeled and were not always what the customer ordered,” Glenn said.
And Glenn, who says the sibutramine had been discontinued because of cardiovascular problems, says this case points out, among other things, the need to get valid prescriptions and deal with reputable pharmacists.