A Canadian dentist and champion curler is facing drug charges in Seattle on allegations he tried to smuggle thousands of counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills to British Columbia.
In a federal criminal complaint, authorities say customs agents intercepted a package of counterfeit pills meant for of Richmond, B.C. resident James P. Armstrong on April 7. Armstrong was arrested a week later retrieving a package from a Blaine post office box.
Charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, Armstrong is accused of helping to distribute the Chinese-made pills labeled as Viagra and Cialis.
Writing the court, a Food and Drug Administration special agent based in Seattle said customs officers intercepted a box containing 2,544 tablets of fake Viagra and 260 pills of knockoff Cialis. The package was to be delivered to a private mailbox business in Blaine, located just south of the Canadian border.
The agent noted in court documents that the package had been shipped from Hyyuan, China. The drugs and packaging appeared nearly identical to the genuine article.
Speaking with staff at the mailbox business, investigators were told Armstrong arrived weekly to pick up boxes shipped to the address. The FDA agent concluded that Armstrong received “a very large number of parcels or boxes arriving … from various foreign countries including China and India.”
Investigators learned Armstrong is a retired dentist. An Internet search showed he is also a noted curler and member of the Canadian paralympic curling team.
Speaking with investigators, Armstrong allegedly admitted to bringing multiple shipments of the drugs into Canada. He is alleged to have claimed he provided the drugs to another man, who in turn sold them at clubs in the Vancouver area.
Jailed following his arrest, Armstrong was released after posting bond on $20,000 bail. He is expected to return to U.S. District Court on April 30 for a preliminary hearing.