FedEx Charged With Shipping Drugs For Illegal Online Pharmacies

Jul 18, 2014
Originally published on July 17, 2014 8:28 pm

A federal grand jury has indicted FedEx on charges of assisting illegal pharmacies. Prosecutors say the shipping company knowingly distributed controlled substances, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

FedEx is "accused of conspiring to distribute prescription drugs to people who never met with doctors — a violation of the Controlled Substances Act," Johnson says.

She says prosecutors in San Francisco demanded that representatives for FedEx appear in court on July 29.

USA Today has more on the indictment, which says that FedEx knew the illicit businesses used its services for decades:

"FedEx took steps to protect its business by setting up special credit policies for Internet pharmacies so it wouldn't lose money if police shut the sites down, the indictment says. FedEx also ignored warnings from the DEA, FDA and members of Congress."

Claiming innocence, FedEx released a statement Thursday by Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of marketing and communications. He said FedEx would plead not guilty.

"We are a transportation company — we are not law enforcement. We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers," the statement added. "We continue to stand ready and willing to support and assist law enforcement. We cannot, however, do the job of law enforcement ourselves."

Fitzgerald said the company has a history of cooperation with law enforcement and has asked the government for a list of illegal sites but has not received one.

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