Shipping company FedEx is up against the U.S. government in court Monday for allegedly trafficking all sorts of prescription drugs to addicts through online pharmacies.
The Tennessee-based shipping firm is accused of knowingly doling out prescription drugs to users without prescriptions since 2000. FedEx shipped Valium and Xanax to sketchy public addresses like parking lots and abandoned homes.
A San Francisco grand jury indicted FedEx for its alleged drug trafficking back in July 2014. The delivery services company is said to have teamed up with Superior Drugs and Chhabra Smoley Organization, two online pharmacies, to sell drugs to desperate people.
At the time of the indictment, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said, “The advent of Internet pharmacies allowed the cheap and easy distribution of massive amounts of illegal prescription drugs to every corner of the United States, while allowing perpetrators to conceal their identities through the anonymity the Internet provides.” Haag went on to state, “This indictment highlights the importance of holding corporations that knowingly enable illegal activity responsible for their role in aiding criminal behavior.”
The judge presiding over the trial is Senior District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Breyer is the brother of Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
Breyer has made his doubts clear with the case and questioned why prosecutors have not gone after the U.S. Postal Service for the same kind of illegally drug deliveries. The “essential ingredient,” to the prosecution’s case, or a smoking gun proving FedEx knew about its shady customers, seems to be lacking according Breyer.
If found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy, FedEx could be fined up to $1.6 billion. FedEx claims that the government should let them know if they are dealing with illegal retailers. It has been decided by both the prosecution and the defense that the trial will be decided by the judge’s ruling rather than a jury.
FedEx has stated since the indictment that the firm will gladly stop dealing with illegal businesses if the DEA would just give them a list of illegitimate recipients. Despite the firm’s willingness to stop any inadvertent illegal activity, the DEA has not told FedEx which of its clients is involved in illegal activities.
Top FedEx competitor UPS settled charges in a case much like this one back in 2013 to the tune of $40 million. Some of the lawyers representing FedEx, gave their legal counsel to retired baseball player Barry Bonds regarding steroids.
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