Former Connecticut Residents Charged with Operating Websites to Illegally Sell Misbranded and Unapproved Drugs
GLASTONBURY, Conn. - Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, has announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging RYAN FIELDS, 49, and LISA MAHAN, 53, of Port Neches, Texas, formerly of Glastonbury, Connecticut, with federal offenses for illegally selling misbranded and unapproved prescription drugs.
The indictment was returned on August 8, 2023, and unsealed after Fields and Mahan were arrested this morning in Port Neches, Texas. They are scheduled to appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
As alleged in the indictment, from September 2021 to June 2023, Fields and Mahan operated two websites, pinnedaminos.com and projectaminos.com, as well as a private Facebook group called Pinned Aminos, through which they illegally sold and distributed to customers throughout the U.S. misbranded prescription drugs. They did not require customers to provide a valid prescription, and some of the drugs they sold and distributed were unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption. The drugs they sold also included drugs they illegally imported from foreign manufacturers.
The indictment further alleges that, to avoid detection and mislead the FDA, the pinnedaminos.com website had a disclaimer that falsely stated that the products for sale were “intended for laboratory and research use only,” and “not intended for human ingestion.” In addition, the labeling on the drugs sold and delivered to customers falsely stated that the drugs were “research compounds” and/or “not for human consumption.” Contrary to these representations, Fields and Mahan knew and intended that the drugs they sold were for human use, and through emails and posts on the Pinned Aminos Facebook group, they provided customers with information on the health benefits of the drugs they sold and directions on dosage.
The indictment alleges that Fields and Mahan unlawfully shipped over 10,000 parcels to customers throughout the country and collected more than $1.4 million from customers. Fields and Mahan used the proceeds to pay themselves, purchase cars, and purchase a residence in Texas.
The indictment charges Fields and Mahan with one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded or unapproved drugs into interstate commerce and to smuggle goods into the United States, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.
U.S. Attorney Avery thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas for their assistance in this matter.