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Turkish citizen gets 27 months for drug fraud

October 28, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Turkish citizen has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for smuggling counterfeit and adulterated cancer treatment drugs into the United States.

Ozkan Semizoglu of Istanbul was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. He pleaded guilty in July to smuggling three shipments of phony and tainted prescription drugs from Turkey to the St. Louis County suburb of Chesterfield. The drugs were labeled as “gifts” or “documents” to conceal their identity.

Federal prosecutors say he shipped some prescription drugs that are supposed to be kept cold with no insulation or temperature protection, potentially limiting their stability and effectiveness.

Semizoglu and several other defendants were arrested after selling the drugs to an undercover company set up by FDA investigators. None of the drugs ever reached doctors’ offices.

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