Pharmaceutical President guilty in counterfeit drug trafficking conspiracy; product sold in Louisiana

Published 6:57 am Tuesday, August 23, 2022

BEAUMONT, Texas – A Florida-based pharmaceutical president has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Adam P. Runsdorf, 57, of Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs, and money laundering conspiracy today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine L. Stetson.

According to the indictment, from April 2014 until August 2021, Runsdorf, the owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC based in Boca Raton, Florida, conspired with drug traffickers in Houston, Texas, to distribute misbranded and counterfeit cough syrup.  Runsdorf’s company pleaded guilty to the same charges today before Judge Stetson.

According to information presented in court, Byron A. Marshall, 43, of Houston, 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.

Six codefendants, including Marshall, have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Runsdorf faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

“In April 2014, Actavis Holdco US discontinued production of Actavis cough syrup due to its widespread abuse by recreational drug users,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.  “After that, the street value of Actavis increased to more than $3,000 per pint.  In his greed, Adam Runsdorf, owner and president of Woodfield Pharmaceutical, used his position and connections to enable drug traffickers in Houston to produce thousands of gallons of counterfeit Actavis, labeled to be nearly identical to the discontinued product.  The conspirators in this case sought to capitalize on the scarcity of Actavis and other prescription cough syrups by marketing counterfeit versions to street-level abusers.”

“Today Adam Runsdorf pled guilty for his role as the CEO of Woodfield Distributors to illegally distributing thousands of controlled substances into our communities, Runsdorf misused the privilege granted by the DEA to handle controlled substances by conspiring with street level drug dealers to manufacture fake drug labels to help drug dealers profit,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Division Daniel C. Comeaux.” This case is another example of the DEA’s continued commitment to combat our nation’s opioid crisis and ensure that registrants remain compliant regardless of their position. We will continue to aggressively pursue and hold accountable anyone attempting to profit from driving overdoses and violent crime in our communities.”

“This is an important victory for the American public. Not only is Adam Runsdorf going to jail for his crimes, but he and his business, Woodfield Pharmaceutical, will forfeit to the government over $8.4 million of illegal proceeds,” said Christopher J. Altemus, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Dallas Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation special agents are committed to using their forensic accounting skills to help unravel complex fraud and money laundering schemes in order to financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations. We will continue to provide our financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals like Mr. Runsdorf to justice.”

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 is being 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John B. Ross and Jonathan C. Lee.