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Man charged with smuggling 40,000 erectile dysfunction pills

Man tries to smuggle erectile dysfunction pillsA Westlake man was arrested by federal agents Wednesday on charges of smuggling almost 40,000 counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills into the U.S. through LAX in his golf bag and luggage.

Kil Jun Lee, 71, is charged with trafficking counterfeit goods worth more than $700,000 when he returned from a trip to Korea on Feb. 25. The former Korean law enforcement officer is alleged to have been transporting 29,827 counterfeit Viagra tablets, 8,993 counterfeit Cialis pills and 793 counterfeit Levitra tablets.

According to the criminal complaint, Lee concealed the tablets in aluminum foil wrapped packets, and was questioned by authorities about whether the pills were all for personal use. He responded that he had a heart condition, and using all the pills would kill him. He also said he "did not believe the pills were genuine," adding that "he was sorry" for bringing the pills and "will not do it again."

Lab tests later revealed that the drugs were counterfeits.

“The trafficking of pharmaceuticals is a growing problem," said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice. "Because these pills are in demand, and people realize money is to be made, people are trying to smuggle them in so they can sell them. We write about issues like this because we want to raise awareness of using these impostor medications they pose safety risk."

Lee made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon and was released on $10,000 bail, Kice said. He did not enter a plea. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. He is due back in court March 28.

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--Matt Stevens

twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Photo: Almost 30,000 counterfeit Viagra tablets were secured by authorities. Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

 
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