Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer struck a blow against L.A.’s banned, misbranded and counterfeit pharmaceuticals trade on Monday, announcing that his office would pursue an injunction against an employee of a South Los Angeles store alleged to have been a hotbed of drug dealing.
The injunction against Flavia Maria Rodriguez and her associate, Salvador Enrique Velasco alleges that the drugs were illegally imported from Mexico and Central America, and distributed to local shops across the country, including Tienda Quetzal Nava at 2824 S. Vermont Ave.
There, Feuer alleges, counterfeit pharmaceuticals were sold.
“Counterfeit and illegal pharmaceuticals pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” Feuer said. “My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to bring those who prey upon some of our most vulnerable residents, and jeopardize their health, to justice.”
The defendants are now permanently prohibited from engaging in the sale of pharmaceuticals or to engage in any advertising related to pharmaceutical or herbal remedies. Additionally, they face $50,000 in penalties and fines.
The injunction is the result of a four-year multi-agency investigation into the sale and distribution of illegal pharmaceuticals in Southern California, Oregon and Arizona, and is believed to be one of the largest ever conducted in the U.S., according to Feuer.
Additionally, officials said efforts against the pharmaceutical trade would continue.
“The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to work in partnership with our federal partners and the City Attorney’s Office to combat the illicit sales of pharmaceutical drugs on the streets of Los Angeles,” said Captain Synthia L. Lee, Commanding Officer, LAPD Piracy Detail.