I previously wondered whether the government would indict individuals involved in internet pharmacy operations after the passage of the Ryan Haight Act but before its 2009 effective date. I now have my answer. David A. Vogel, Jonathan Vogel and Carrie Demers were indicted in the U.S. District Court for East Texas for their alleged involvement in an internet pharmacy operation which earned an estimated $24.7 million from hydrocodone sales between 2000 and 2007. The indictment alleges that David Vogel, Jonathan Vogel and Carrie Demers ran an online pharmacy called The Madison Pain Clinic, which was owned by The Hamilton Agency LP. Prior to 2007, the customers prescriptions were filled by various pharmacies located throughout Texas. However, in 2007, The Madison Pain Clinic opened its own pharmacy to fill its internet prescriptions and maximize its profits.
This indictment presents a significant problem for the government, since it is the first federal indictment that I am aware of after the Ryan Haight Act’s passage but before its effective date. As I have previously written, it is hard to imagine how one can say that online consultation service internet pharmacy operations requiring medical records are illegal prior to the effective date of the Ryan Haight Act, when the Ryan Haight Act seeks to make them illegal. Simply put, why would Congress make something illegal that already was illegal? Prosecutors have a number of responses to this, which, admittedly, have been successful, but I plan to extensively address them in the next few weeks with a series of criminal defense strategy posts.
The content on this post does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. You should not act upon the information presented on this website without seeking the advice of legal counsel. Should you wish to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in internet pharmacy, prescription, and drug law, please feel free to contact me directly.