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13 June 2016Americas

Three arrested for alleged US counterfeit drug operation

US authorities arrested three individuals on Friday, June 10 on suspicion of running a counterfeit drug operation.

Kia Zolfaghari, King Edward Harris II and Candelaria Daganda Vazquez, who made their initial appearance in a federal court in San Francisco on the same day, were alleged to have run an illegal operation to manufacture counterfeit oxycodone pills.

The counterfeit pills did not contain oxycodone, a pain medication, but instead contained fentanyl, which is a highly potent opiate that can mimic the effects of oxycodone.

The complaint alleges that more than 1,500 counterfeit pills were sold, delivered both in person and also through an online marketplace.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, if found guilty, the defendants could potentially face a sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of $1 million, or twice the gain or loss from the criminal activity.

The next court appearance will be today, June 13.

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