TIME justice

FedEx Indicted for Role in Distributing Prescription Drugs

Prosecutors claim the federal government warned FedEx about drug distribution at least six times

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A federal grand jury indicted shipping company FedEx Thursday on charges of shipping prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies.

Prosecutors say that Congress, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal agencies warned FedEx for nearly a decade that their shipping services were being used to illegally distribute drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone. However, prosecutors say, the largest cargo company in the world ignored the notices.

FedEx allegedly “departed from its usual business practices” to allow the drug trade to continue. FexEx, according to the indictment, was aware of two major illegal online pharmacies—the Chhabra-Smoley organization and Superior Drugs. Top managers at FedEx allegedly approved these practices.

“The advent of Internet pharmacies allowed the cheap and easy distribution of massive amounts of illegal prescription drugs to every corner of the United States, while allowing perpetrators to conceal their identities through the anonymity the Internet provides,” said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in a statement Thursday. “This indictment highlights the importance of holding corporations that knowingly enable illegal activity responsible for their role in aiding criminal behavior.”

FedEx said they would fight the charges.

“FedEx is innocent of the charges brought today by the Department of Justice,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, FedEx’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, in a statement. “We will plead not guilty. We will defend against this attack on the integrity and good name of FedEx and its employees.”

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