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Fla. Man Sentenced for Selling Fake Drug

September 3, 2003

MIAMI (AP) _ A man who bottled bacteria-tainted water and sold it as the lifesaving medicine Procrit was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison Wednesday.

Eddy Gorrin, 30, had admitted to making the counterfeit drug, complete with imitation holographic safety seals, lot numbers and stamps almost identical to those on the real thing. His sentence Wednesday was part of a plea bargain reached in June.

``You were very lucky and society was very lucky that it was stopped when it was,″ U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan told Gorrin during sentencing.

Procrit is prescribed to people with HIV and cancer patients with anemia. Officials have said none of the fake drugs ever reached patients.

``I just thank God every day that nobody was hurt by the stupidity of my actions,″ Gorrin told the judge. ``I expect to pay for my mistakes.″

Two other men involved in the scam were sentenced Friday.

William Chavez, 39, was sentenced to three months in prison for brokering sales of unlicensed drugs to undercover FDA agents.

Duviel Gonzalez, 31, was sentenced to six months of house arrest for attending one of the sales and storing boxes of the fake drugs in exchange for $3,000.

Chavez was arrested in February for selling fake Procrit to an undercover FDA agent. He agreed to cooperate and wore a wire as he turned over money to Gorrin. Agents then nabbed Gorrin and later arrested Gonzalez.

In all, the FDA bought 120 boxes of fake Procrit, and recovered another 333 boxes sold to others. Agents found another 5,000 boxes printed and ready for filling.

Legitimate Procrit wholesales for $1,700 for a box of four vials. The counterfeit boxes were sold for $350 to $800 per box, but investigators say it cost Gorrin no more than $1.50 to make a box.

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