While many people think of individual people when they hear of defendants charged with federal drug crimes. However, one well-known courier company is facing accusations that it was knowingly involved in shipments of prescription drugs to those who did not have prescriptions. FedEx is now facing charges of conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs.
There is an exemption in the laws that keeps transportation companies from being charged in these types of cases because it is impossible for them to be able to inspect each individual package for illegal items. However, a judge ruled on May 14 that FedEx's activities did not fall under that exemption. In his decision, the judge stated that allowing FedEx to fall under the exemption would mean giving drug dealers a legal avenue to distribute illegal prescriptions.
According to claims from the prosecution, FedEx allegedly worked with two pharmacies that operate online and knowingly involved itself in shipping the prescription drugs, including painkillers and sedatives, to customers who did not have prescriptions. FedEx, however, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and continues to argue that the company should fall under the exemption provided in the federal law.
Although unusual, this case is not the first of its kind. UPS was accused of similar actions in 2013 but paid a reported $40 million to avoid criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances of a case, there may be several defense strategies, whether the defendant is an individual or a business. However, it is critical to have legal representation with a thorough understanding of the federal drug laws to help you understand the nuances of your case.
Source: My Fox Chicago, "Judge says he won't toss FedEx drug indictment," Sudhin Thanawala, May. 14, 2015