Man Charged with Smuggling 40,000 Fake Erectile Dysfunction Pills Into LAX
Phony pills valued at about $700,000, federal officials said.
Federal prosecutors charged a man Wednesday for allegedly trying to smuggle $700,000 worth of counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills into the country through LAX. (The Los Angeles Times)
Kil Jung Lee, 71, is charged with trafficking counterfeit goods worth more than $700,000 when he returned home Feb. 25 from a trip to Korea. Federal officials said Lee, a former Korean law enforcement officer, carried 29,827 counterfeit Viagra tablets, 8993. counterfeit Cialis pills and 793 counterfeit Levitra tablets, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Lee concealed the tablets in aluminum foil-wrapped packets, according to the criminal complaint prosecutors filed against him. Authorities questioned Lee about the pills and if they were for personal use and he told them that they would kill him because of a heart condition he suffered from, the Times reported.
He also told authorities that he did not believe the pills were genuine and apologized before promising not to try bringing them into the country again.
Lab tests later revealed the drugs to be phony.
"The trafficking of pharmaceuticals is a growing problem," Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice told the Times. "Because these pills are in demand, and people realize money is to be made, people are trying to smuggle them in so they can sell them. We write about issues like this because we want to raise awareness of using these impostor medications they pose safety risk."
Lee appeared in federal court Wednesday and was released on $10,000 bail without entering a plea. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges against him.
He is due to appear in court again on March 28.