Member of Multi-State Theft Scheme Admits Selling Stolen Pharmaceuticals
NEWARK, NJ—A Miami man today admitted his role in a multi-state conspiracy to possess and sell prescription medication taken from a stolen tractor trailer, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Martin Lopez, a/k/a “El Negro,” 47, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to possess stolen prescription medicine.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On December 2, 2009, a full shipment of prescription respiratory medicine manufactured by Dey LLP in Allen, Texas, was stolen on its way to Sandoz Inc. in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Lopez admitted that from December 2009 through March 2010, he conspired with others to acquire and sell medicine stolen from the shipment.
In early 2010, Lopez spoke with Ernesto Romero-Vidal, a/k/a “Bemba,” 48, of Hallandale, Florida, to identify a potential buyer for the stolen medicine. On March 2, 2010, Lopez arranged to have the medicine delivered to a buyer in New Jersey. Two days later, two other conspirators delivered the stolen goods to the buyer in return for $64,000 in cash, which they split with Lopez.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for September 24, 2014.
On December 18, 2013, Romero-Vidal was sentenced by Judge Martini to 80 months in prison for his role in the scheme and other federal charges.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; and detectives of the North Bergen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert J. Dowd, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Leslie Faye Schwartz and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane H. Yoon of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.