TX: Ringleader Sentenced to 25 Years for Counterfeit Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

A Houston man who led a counterfeit drug trafficking scheme has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking and money laundering violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs today.

Byron A. Marshall, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs, and money laundering conspiracy and was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

According to the indictment, from April 2014 until August 2021, Marshall conspired with ten others including Adam P. Runsdorf, the owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC based in Boca Raton, Florida.

According to information presented in court, Marshall utilized Woodfield Pharmaceutical’s manufacturing facility and employees in Houston to produce more than 500,000 pints of counterfeit cough syrup. Marshall’s drug trafficking organization sold the counterfeit drugs across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Arkansas, and Ohio. Prices generally ranged from $100 to more than $1,000 per one-pint bottle. Depending on the market and brand of cough syrup, prices went as high as $3,800 to $4,000 per pint.

During the conspiracy, Marshall communicated directly with Runsdorf regarding production of the counterfeit cough syrup.  At Runsdorf’s request, Marshall paid Woodfield Pharmaceutical in cash only, and Woodfield employees mailed the cash directly to Runsdorf in Boca Raton.

“Mr. Marshall was the ringleader of a drug trafficking organization responsible for selling counterfeit drugs across most of the southeastern United States and many other states,” said U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.  “Drug trafficking organizations like this are a cancer to our nation and present a substantial threat to our communities.  Today’s significant sentence should send a clear message to such organizations that the Eastern District of Texas along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners will remain laser-focused on crippling drug trafficking organizations that choose to distribute drugs and other poisons in our communities.”

All eleven defendants charged in the indictment pleaded guilty.  Eight have been sentenced including Marshall. Adam Runsdorf and Tunji Campbell pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs, and money laundering conspiracy. Campbell, who partnered with Marshall to hatch the scheme, was sentenced to 135 months imprisonment. Runsdorf was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $5 million and a McLaren sportscar. Chauntell D. Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit drugs and was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment. Cheryl A. Anderson, Ashley A. Rhea, Maria Anzures-Camarena and Kalpen Patel, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy and were sentenced to 60 months imprisonment. Three others are awaiting sentencing.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Marshals Service; Houston Police Department; Galveston Police Department; Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Dickinson Police Department; League City Police Department; Pearland Police Department; Pasadena Police Department; Texas City Police Department; Harris County Precent #2; Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office; Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office; Liberty County Sheriff’s Office; and the Texas National Guard.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John B. Ross, Jonathan C. Lee, and Robert A. Wells.

Press Release

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