SAN DIEGO -- A Utah pharmacist will go to prison next month for illegally selling prescription medicine he had purchased in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.
Terrence Frank, 59, will start serving his jail term July 6. He was also ordered during his sentencing hearing this week to pay a $35,000 fine.Frank admitted in federal court that he had traveled to Mexico in 1996 to buy prescription medication and attempted to smuggle 22,000 pills through the San Ysidro border station, just south of San Diego.
Frank also admitted to selling the drugs at the Family Plaza Pharmacy near Salt Lake City between 1996 and 1998, passing off the prescription drugs as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Federal authorities say 6 percent of the medication Frank attempted to smuggled from Mexico was actually counterfeit and sometimes did not contain any of the active ingredients listed on the label.
His wife, 41-year-old Jolynda Stillman Frank, who is also a pharmacist in Utah, has pleaded guilty to similar charges. She will be sentenced July 21.
The case is related to that of another Utah pharmacist, Clifford Holt, who managed a pharmacy owned by Terrence Frank. Holt pleaded guilty to the same charge of selling smuggled drugs and is currently serving a 13-month sentence in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District.
Holt's sister and brother-in-law, Lynette and Jefferson Scott, were stopped last year at the San Ysidro entry point with prescription drugs. They pleaded guilty to failing to declare merchandise at the border and were sentenced to one year of probation in April 1998.
Dozens of pharmacies in Mexican border cities such as Tijuana sell heavily discounted pharmaceuticals without requiring a doctor's prescription.