Sunday, September 27, 2009

Law Enforcement Examiner: Operation CYBERx

In yet another fascinating article from Jim Kouri at the Law Enforcement Examiner, the September 23, 2009 issue spotlights a recent DEA-led investigation targeting the e-trafficking of drugs within the United States.

The investigation, which is part of a larger initiative named Operation CYBERx was conducted by the DEA and other law enforcement agencies. This collaboration targeted internet pharmaceutical drug traffickers, operating within the United States that pose as legitimate pharmacies which in fact are peddling dangerous narcotics and prescription drugs, many of which are counterfeit.

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

  • Recognizing that criminals are facilitating more drug-related crimes through the use of 21st century technology, the DEA, along with their law enforcement counterparts recently arrested 18 people for allegedly selling pharmaceutical drugs illegally over the Internet. Those arrested include the ringleaders of more than 4,600 rogue Internet pharmacy websites.

  • The alleged drug dealers who operated these rogue internet pharmacies received prescription orders for controlled substances over the Internet, which were then shipped to the doors of many US citizens — sometimes without any prescription needed. These alleged criminal pharmaceutical drug traffickers averaged more than $50,000 a day in profits from their illegal Internet based enterprise.

  • Operation CYBERx is part of the DEA's "Virtual Enforcement Initiative (VEI)." This new DEA cyber initiative acknowledges that criminals in the drug trade are embracing the use of state-or-the-art technology to peddle their narcotics and dangerous drugs into US communities, all with an air of respectability.

  • DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy said, "Operation CYBERx puts out of business alleged cyber criminals who [are] selling powerful narcotics without legitimate prescriptions to anyone with a computer and cash. These high-tech drug dealers were fueling addictions by selling the very drugs intended to prevent and treat ailments — not inflict them. Just as important, this Operation makes more Americans aware that buying prescription drugs from these rogue websites is illegal and dangerous."

  • The VEI concept was realized last April when DEA led Operation "Cyber Chase," which resulted in more than 20 arrests in eight US cities and four foreign countries; shutting down an organization that ran over 200 web sites illegally selling what were identified as pharmaceutical drugs. This year-long investigation targeted international Internet pharmaceutical traffickers operating in the United States, India, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. These e-traffickers also distributed drugs world-wide using rogue Internet pharmacies.

XStream Systems endorses the efforts of the DEA in cracking down on the illegal trafficking of prescription drugs and narcotics. This effort highlights the vulnerabilities of the pharmaceutical supply chain in the 21st century and XStream encourages all members of the supply chain to utilize material screening to verify, authenticate and protect their inventories. XStream also encourages health care consumers to only buy prescriptions from licensed, known pharmacies within your area and always use health care professionals (physicians, pharmacists) when taking medications.

To read Mr. Kouri’s Law Enforcement Examiner article in full, follow the following link:

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