Drug Maker Sentenced for Illegal Imports

ATLANTA (AP) - The owner of a Georgia pharmaceutical company has
been sentenced to four years in federal prison for importing millions of dollars worth of adulterated and unauthorized products sold on the Internet.

U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp also ordered 37-year-old Jared Robert Wheat of Alpharetta on Tuesday to forfeit $3 million.

Authorities said Wheat's Norcross-based Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals
manufactured unauthorized generic versions of drugs such as Xanax,
Valium, Ambien, Vioxx, Zoloft, Viagra, and Cialis without sanitary or quality-control regulations of the Food and Drug Administration.

Four co-defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two years to 32 months, and four others received non-custodial felony sentences.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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