TAMPA -- Robert Lohr, a 72-year-old Bradenton man, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States.
He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Lohr operated a business in Bradenton known as "Canadian American Drug Club" or "American Drug Club of Bradenton," according to a plea deal.
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From July 2009 through Sept. 25, the business sold and distributed illegally smuggled prescription drugs, including Viagra, Cialis, Achiphex and Lipitor, as well as other drug products falsely represented as "herbal," which contained active prescription ingredients.
Lohr is not a licensed pharmacist, drug importer or drug wholesaler. American Drug Club was not a licensed pharmacy or licensed drug importer or wholesaler.
Between March 21, 2014, and Sept. 15, several undercover purchases of misbranded, unapproved and counterfeit prescription drugs were made from Lohr's business. Prescriptions for Viagra and Cialis were filled and mailed from the business, along with counterfeit drugs made in China.
Other prescription drugs, such as Achiphex and Lipitor, were filled by foreign pharmacies with foreign drugs, which had not been approved for the U.S. market.
Lohr also sold several herbal Viagra products without prescriptions, which had been illegally smuggled from China. The products, with names such as "Maxmen," "Superhard" or "Vigour," contained sildendafil citrate, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Viagra. Several packages addressed to Lohr's business containing counterfeit drugs were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Lohr generated more than $1.1 million in sales from these counterfeit drugs. Proceeds were deposited in the form of cash, third-party customer checks and bank card transactions into business and personal bank accounts controlled by Lohr and others. Proceeds were seized and forfeited in September 2015, including $765,909 from an investment account, $60,722 from a business bank account and $79,700 in cash stored in Lohr's safe deposit box. Another $20,135 in cash was seized from Lohr's business.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Food and Drug Administration.