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Distribution of Fake Drugs: Analysis of a Criminal Case

Introduction

People tend to come up with the most unusual ways of perceiving their desires, which in some cases may not be legal. Others pursue criminal life willingly, putting innocent individuals and their well-being in danger. Certain conditions allow to negate some elements of the crime, intent, for instance, however, do not eliminate the guilt charges. Therefore, this paper will precisely discuss and investigate the details of a criminal law case concerning the distribution of fake drugs and identify possible defense claims.

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Main body

The criminal case that was chosen specifically for this assignment is connected with the disposal of uncertified drugs against such a severe illness like cancer. An Alabama man, who fulfilled his materialistic desires by endangering the health of seriously ill people, performed such a scenario. He manufactured untested cancer drugs at his home kitchen, marking and dressing them as to “alternative-medicine doctors” in the United States, Mexico, and multiple other countries, according to federal prosecutors (Man Charged with Selling, 2020). The man purchased a specific medical compound from the Chinese distributor, which was proved to be effective in cancer treatment in China.

The homemade drugs, claiming to treat cancer, the defendant Patrick Charles Bishop sold to the local cancer treatment centers and similar unqualified clinics, where the doctors used it on cancer patients. Bishop confessed to having bought the compound for $600,000, ensuring the manufacturer that he needs it for the research purposes (Man Charged with Selling, 2020). However, in the real-life, the criminal utilized the compound as a supplementary ingredient to his so-called medicine, produced in the non-sterile kitchen of a Birmingham apartment and Pelham warehouse.

The ingredient purchased from China is called PNC-27 and was never approved by the government on the United States premises as an effective treatment for any disease. He offered the drugs not only to clinics but directly to the doctors and cancer patients locally and to individuals all over the country. Moreover, he established a deal with Hope4Cancer, where he shipped bulks of fraudulent medication to California, which was later transferred to treat people in Mexican hospitals.

The usage of such a medical component was not only illegal but exposed the ill to severe danger and compromised their process of recovering. Besides, the PNC-27 peptide has never undergone any human clinical trials in the USA that would test its impact on people, their side effects, safety measure, or any other medical characteristics and influences (Man Charged with Selling, 2020). To this day, the effect on the people who would intake fake drugs is not determined.

In such a way, patients may lose trust in the healthcare system and specifically to the medical centers, where the criminal sold the fake cancer drugs to. Not only they lacked the competence to check the certification of the medicine and provide a background check on the seller, but they also put the cancer-ill people in severe danger by prescribing untested drugs. Therefore, medical centers may become unintentional co-conspirators, who failed to do check-ups and research the drugs.

Among other charges, Bishop fraudulently introduced an uncertified drug to interstate commerce, obtaining pre-retail medical supplements. Moreover, the criminal willingly forged documentation for the drug, putting dozens of people in critical danger. He used a fake company name Best Peptide Supply, LLC to purchase PNC-27 from the Chinese manufacturer and a business name Immuno Cellular Restoration Program, Inc., to sell the drug to the medical centers.

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The criminal has broken the law numerous times and is exposed to dozens of federal charges. The U.S. District Court accused him of twenty-eight different indictments, including conspiracy, forgery, and fraudulent charges related to purchasing, selling, and distributing uncertified drugs (The United States Attorney’s Office, 2020). Patrick Bishop is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. By analyzing all the significant events and main elements of the committed crime, it is possible to identify the possible offenses:

Conspiracy

The main charge Patrick Bishop can be accused of is a conspiracy. He and two of his accomplices, neither of which has prior medical education, agreed to commit a federal crime, defrauding the United States by lying about the origin and purpose of cancer drugs. Therefore, the offender, as the main perpetrator of the crime, performed most of the unlawful work, may be entirely held criminally accountable.

Fraudulently introducing adulterated drugs into interstate commerce

Bishop offered and distributed uncertified, fake drugs into the market, by issuing it legal and practical. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act criminally punish individuals who engage in distributing misbranded medications in interstate commerce. Therefore, for the unlawful distribution of a homemade adulterated cancer prescription, obtained illegally, and then sold to a number of medical clinics inside the state of Alabama, Bishop is facing charges from a penalty to imprisonment.

Fraudulently introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce

Similar to the previous crime, Bishop also distributed a false drug along with its adulterated content. Misbranding the prescriptions involves hawking the benefits of the existent drug without warning of the medication’s side effects or claiming its false effectiveness without the government’s knowledge. Bishop claimed that his so-called cancer medicine is valid in the disease treatment, subsequently offering it to multiple clinics inside the state. The violation of this regulation should be punished by a notable fine or imprisonment, which Patrick Bishop will face in court.

Fraudulently obtaining pre-retail medical products

Bishop obtained a specific component PNC-27 for his drug from a Chinese manufacturer. This ingredient has not been approved by the U.S. government as an effective one for treating cancer patients; therefore, made it unlawful to use it as any mean of medical treatment and distribute it to the customers in the country’s premises. However, Bishop neglected these regulations, proceeding to purchase the component from a man in China for $600,000 and creating the medicine at home, further introducing it to the market.

Creating false documentation for cancer drugs

Falsification of the documentation is a severe crime that entails strict charges by the U.S. Legislative system. Patrick Bishop intentionally provided false documentation to the clinics where he intended to sell the drugs to, therefore, jeopardizing the integrity and safety of those institutions. The defendant was seeking personal financial gain when he falsified the documents, disregarding the law and the well-being of the sick people. Such a penalty expects the commitment of a felony, monetary charge, and incarceration.

Knowingly possessing and trafficking in pre-retail medical products that he obtained by fraud

Bishop knew that the medication possessed was obtained and distributed by fraud. Moreover, individual components of the drugs were not legal in the United States territory. He stored large amounts of pharmaceutical products in the Birmingham apartment and trafficked it to the medical clinics. Keeping illegal drugs may not only influence the person possessing it but also threaten the lives of people it is further prescribed to.

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Possible Defences

The defendant tried to withdraw himself from the conspiring, affirmatively communicated with co-conspirators and took specific actions to escape the unlawful conspiracy. In order for such a defense to work, Bishop must have cut ties with the accomplices; otherwise, further communication may prevent him from raising the defense of withdrawal.

Another argument for conspiracy is that Patrick Bishop is the defense of entrapment. The defendant may claim that he was forced to participate in the scheme by a government agent, where he had no prior intention to commit such a crime, but the officer persuaded him to do so. The indictment does not mention the criminal’s full responsibility for the conspiracy; therefore, such a scenario may be practicable.

A lawyer can also claim the lack of fraudulent intent, where Bishop was not aware of the PNC-27’s criminal matter in the United States of America and its prohibition in the country. It can be stated that he failed to do thorough research and wrongfully assumed PNC-27 legalization and full safety.

Illegal search and seizure. According to the Fourth Amendment right of the U.S. Constitution, every citizen has the right to due process of law, including lawful search or seizure actions before the arrest. If the drugs Bishop was storing were found in a “plain view,” it may be seized and become evidence. However, if they were located elsewhere that needed permission to enter or a lock, it cannot be possessed and used as evidence. Therefore, if the medication was retrieved in an unlawful way contradicting the fourth amendment, they cannot be used in the trial; subsequently, the charges will be dismissed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a case of Patrick Bishop is a case of multiple severe offenses, including strict legislative measures. There are many details and elements to this crime, each making it more complicated to come up with the defense. Even though it is impossible to free the defendant of all charges, it is plausible to reduce his penalties. Bishop committed multiple serious crimes, including the distribution of illegal untested drugs, forgery of the documents, and the unlawful manufacturing of untested medication.

References

Man charged with selling homemade cancer drug suppositories. (2020). CBS News. Web.

The United States Attorney’s Office. Northern District of Alabama. (2020). Birmingham man indicted on conspiracy and fraud charges for making unapproved drug products in his kitchen and warehouse and marketing and selling them as a cancer treatment. United States Department of Justice. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, April 22). Distribution of Fake Drugs: Analysis of a Criminal Case. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/distribution-of-fake-drugs-analysis-of-a-criminal-case/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Distribution of Fake Drugs: Analysis of a Criminal Case." April 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/distribution-of-fake-drugs-analysis-of-a-criminal-case/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Distribution of Fake Drugs: Analysis of a Criminal Case'. 22 April.

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