Government agencies busted a group of smugglers, including two OC men, who stand accused of bringing sham veterinary products into the United States. The unsealed indictment from earlier this week named Mark Tran, 40, of Fountain Valley and William Humphreys, 58, of Laguna Hills among the arrested.
Two others from Phoenix and England join the OC men in being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and trafficking in counterfeit labels and smuggling goods in the U.S. For his troubles, Tran faces additional counts of the same charges.
Authorities took Humphreys into custody in Phoenix and Tran was apprehended in California. The Englishman remains on the lam. A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) notes that the men are suspected of being part of one of the largest known fake pet care product trafficker groups.
The indictment alleges Tran and Humphreys smuggled the goods not made for the U.S. market into it anyway under fraud labels, including Merial Pharmaceutical Company's Frontline and Frontline Plus pesticides. The accused flea bags also brought the pet care products in under the ruse that they were to be used by charities but were sold directly to retail outlets.
But fret not! If your dog is constantly scratching himself and you want to get some Frontline pet meds, go right on ahead. All the bogus products have been lifted from store shelves. The charges against Tran and Humphreys remain with the two indicted in a Houston courtroom.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2