Stiff Sentence for Viagra Bootlegger
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- They’re the little blue pills – and little yellow pills – that are often instantly recognizable. But what a lot of consumers didn’t recognize is that these Viagra and Cialis pills were knock-offs – made from the same or similar ingredients as the real thing, but not manufactured by pharma giants Pfizer and Eli Lilly.
And now, announced Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, 49-year-old Babou Jobe (pron JOE-bee) has been sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, half of which he paid. Jobe pled guilty on an earlier date to Trademark Counterfeiting in the second degree, a Class E Felony. He was sentenced by Justice Marc Whiten of the Bronx County Criminal Court.
When Jobe was arrested on September 18, 2014, at a store at 6 East 184th Street in the Fordham section of the Bronx, he had in his possession nearly 14,000 Viagra and Cialis pills in bottles and blister packs, along with a sheaf of Viagra labels. All were counterfeits.
The Viagra pills contained the active ingredient of the real drug, but at less than 15 percent of the advertised dosage and the filler material included vulcanized rubber. Jobe told investigators, “Yeah, I know it’s fake,” admitting that he’d been selling the counterfeits since 2012, making about $1,500 a month.
The packaging for both the Viagra and the Cialis pills was close, but no cigar. Noted one representative of Eli Lilly and Co., the maker of Cialis, the bottles not only had invalid lot numbers, but the coloration and design was off.
Jobe, in taking this plea, also waived his right to appeal and, as a non-US citizen, is subject to deportation to his native Gambia. At his sentencing he stated, “I’m very sorry for what I did and I ask for forgiveness from the Court.”
The case against Jobe was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Peter D’Angelo and Supervising Assistant District Attorney Cristina Park of the Bronx D.A. Arson/Auto/Economic Crime Bureau. Jobe’s arrest resulted from an investigation initiated by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor with assistance from the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
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