LA Man Arrested, 40,000 Fake Erectile Drugs Seized

By Salon Staff

Published March 8, 2012 2:54AM (EST)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 71-year-old former law enforcement officer from South Korea was arrested Wednesday, days after customs officers found his luggage and golf bag stuffed with nearly 40,000 phony Viagra and other erectile dysfunction pills at Los Angeles International Airport, federal authorities said.

Kil Jun Lee was returning from a trip to South Korea on Feb. 25 when the officers at LAX found 29,827 fake Viagra tablets, 8,993 fake Cialis pills and 793 counterfeit Levitra tablets concealed in packets of aluminum foil and valued at more than $700,000, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

Asked whether the medication was for his own use, Lee told officers he had a heart condition, and if he used all the pills it would kill him, according to the criminal complaint.

An analysis by a federal forensics lab showed that none of the pills matched the ingredients in the real thing.

He was arrested at his Los Angeles apartment Wednesday morning by agents from Homeland Security Investigations.

"When it comes to counterfeit pharmaceutical products, never has the expression 'buyer beware' been more true," Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles said in a statement.

Lee was charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods and was scheduled to make his initial appearance in court later Wednesday, though it was not immediately clear whether he has hired an attorney or entered a plea.

Salon Staff

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