CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 33-year-old resident of Corpus
Christi has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of
possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and receiving a
misbranded drug in interstate commerce, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe
Martinez along with Special Agent in Charge Spencer E. Morrison of the Food and
Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations’ Kansas City Field
Office. Elias Trevino Jr. pleaded guilty May 15, 2017.
Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey handed
Trevino a 12-month term of imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, Judge
Rainey noted that FDA regulations are in place to protect the public which
Trevino repeatedly violated. “The is egregious conduct that I can’t ignore” he
said. Trevino will also be required to serve three years of supervised
release following completion of the prison term.
“Drugs labeled as natural dietary supplements that contain
undeclared, dangerous ingredients present a serious risk to consumers’ health,”
said Morrison. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice criminals who
endanger the public by offering and distributing such falsely labeled and
Trevino was one of the owners of X2Zero, a store selling
dietary supplements online and through stores located in Corpus Christi. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined a number of products sold there
as “herbal weight loss supplements” were found to contain misbranded or
unapproved foreign drugs.
In 1997, the (FDA) approved a prescription drug containing
sibutramine under the trade name Meridia for the management of obesity. In
October 2010, the FDA requested the Meridia marketer to withdraw the drug from
the United States market due to the health risks associated with sibutramine,
including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death. On Dec. 21,
2010, at the request of the manufacturer, the FDA withdrew its approval of
Meridia. Since that time, no drug containing sibutramine has been approved for
human use in the United States.
At the time of his guilty plea, Trevino admitted he
knowingly possessed and sold diet drugs containing sibutramine. He acknowledged
he imported the drugs from China and sold them through both the X2Zero store in
Corpus Christi and on the Internet in violation of the federal Food, Drug and
Previously released on bond, Trevino was taken into custody
following the sentencing today where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S.
Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FDA - Office of Criminal Investigations conducted the
investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. is prosecuted the