TALLAHASSEE, FL – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Miami-Dade County man was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to operating an internet pharmacy. Erich Ruiz was charged with dispensing controlled substances without a pharmacy license or prescription. He was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
“The process for obtaining prescriptions exists not only to ensure that the proper medical standards are in place, but also to protect consumers from receiving altered or improper medications,” said Attorney General McCollum. “We will continue to prosecute these operations and shut them down for good.”
Ruiz, 25, ran the internet pharmacy with two co-defendants. The unlicensed operation dispensed non-prescribed hydrocodone, although specially manufactured labels indicated that prescriptions had been obtained for the controlled substances. The case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Under his plea agreement, Ruiz admitted to charges of conspiracy to commit trafficking in hydrocodone, dispensing drugs without a license, dispensing drugs without a prescription and the forgery of a prescription or drug label. After his prison sentence is completed, Ruiz will be on probation for five years. Co-defendant Braidor Santos pled guilty to similar charges and was sentenced to two years in prison to be followed by two years of community control and 10 years of probation. Co-defendant Hans Pedraza pled guilty and received a one-year community control sentence to be followed by 5 years of probation.