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Pharmaceutical President Guilty In Counterfeit Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

BEAUMONT, Texas – According to U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, a Florida-based pharmaceutical president pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Adam P. Runsdorf, 57, of Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs, and money laundering before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine L. Stetson.

According to the indictment, from April 2014 until August 2021, Runsdorf, the owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC based in Boca Raton, Florida, conspired with drug traffickers in Houston to distribute misbranded and counterfeit cough syrup. Runsdorf’s company pleaded guilty to the exact charges Monday before Judge Stetson.

According to Information presented in court, Byron A. Marshall, 43, of Houston, utilized Woodfield Pharmaceutical’s manufacturing facility and employees in Houston to produce more than 500,000 pints of counterfeit cough syrup. Marshall’s drug trafficking organization sold counterfeit drugs across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Arkansas, and Ohio. Prices ranged from $100 to more than $1,000 per one-pint bottle. Depending on the market and brand of cough syrup, prices went as high as $3,800 to $4,000 per pint.

During the conspiracy, Marshall communicated directly with Runsdorf regarding the production of counterfeit cough syrup. At Runsdorf’s request, Marshall paid Woodfield Pharmaceutical in cash only, and Woodfield employees mailed the money directly to Runsdorf in Boca Raton. Six codefendants, including Marshall, have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Runsdorf faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the court will determine the sentencing based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be after completing a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

“In April 2014, Actavis Holdco U.S. discontinued production of Actavis cough syrup due to its widespread abuse by recreational drug users,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “After that, the street value of Actavis increased to more than $3,000 per pint. In his greed, Adam Runsdorf, owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical, used his position and connections to enable drug traffickers in Houston to produce thousands of gallons of counterfeit Actavis, labeled to be nearly identical to the discontinued product. The conspirators, in this case, sought to capitalize on the scarcity of Actavis and other prescription cough syrups by marketing counterfeit versions to street-level abusers.”

“Today, Adam Runsdorf pled guilty for his role as Woodfield Distributors’ CEO to illegally distribute thousands of controlled substances into our communities. Runsdorf misused the privilege granted by the DEA to handle controlled substances. He conspired with street-level drug dealers to manufacture fake drug labels to help drug dealers profit,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Division, Daniel C. Comeaux.” This case is another example of the DEA’s continued commitment to combat our nation’s opioid crisis and ensure that registrants remain compliant regardless of their position. We will continue to aggressively pursue and hold accountable anyone attempting to profit from driving overdoses and violent crime in our communities.”

“This is an important victory for the American public. Not only is Adam Runsdorf going to jail for his crimes, but he and his business, Woodfield Pharmaceutical, will forfeit to the government over $8.4 million of illegal proceeds,” said Christopher J. Altemus, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Dallas Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation special agents are committed to using their forensic accounting skills to help unravel complex fraud and money laundering schemes to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations financially. We will continue to provide financial expertise as we work alongside law enforcement partners to bring criminals like Mr. Runsdorf to justice.”

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. You can find additional Information about the OCDETF Program at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Marshals Service; Houston Police Department; Galveston Police Department; Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Dickinson Police Department; League City Police Department; Pearland Police Department; Pasadena Police Department; Texas City Police Department; Harris County Precinct #2; Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office; Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office; Liberty County Sheriff’s Office; and the Texas National Guard investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John B. Ross and Jonathan C. Lee is the prosecutor.