Man charged in sale of counterfeit Viagra pills


The owner of Belmont Pharmacy, 6148 W. Belmont Ave., was charged with illegally obtaining counterfeit Viagra and Cialis from China and dispensing the medications, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The suspect, Michael Markiewicz, whose license had been suspended, allegedly ordered three shipments of counterfeit Viagra from China, including one that also contained Cialis, and allegedly sold counterfeit Viagra from his pharmacy between December of 2010 and August of 2012.

The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation suspended Markiewicz’ pharmacist license and revoked the license of Belmont Pharmacy in November of 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The store continues to operate as a nutrition and herb retailer, according to the office.

Markiewicz, also known as Michael Markowitz, age 36, of Norridge, was charged with eight counts of violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, four counts of trafficking in counterfeit drugs or goods using a counterfeit mark, and three counts of smuggling in a 15-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury, according to the office, which said that the indictment also seeks forfeiture of his business premises and residence.

According to the indictment, Markiewicz ordered counterfeit Viagra and Cialis from China via the Internet in April of 2011 and May of 2012. The customs declaration on the outer packaging stated that it contained a “gift pen,” and the drugs were hidden in unlabeled clear plastic bags underneath the pen, according to the office.

Trafficking counterfeit drugs carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $2 million fine, each count of trafficking counterfeit goods using a counterfeit mark carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine, smuggling carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


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