SAN ANTONIO – Two New Braunfels men pleaded guilty in a federal court in San Antonio to selling non-controlled but dangerous substances through the mail.
According to court documents, Evan Asher Field, 42, and Michael Dominic Diaz, 30, purchased bulk quantities of various drugs, including synthetic opioids and benzodiazepines, and re-sold them through a website Field created in September 2019. The drugs, most of which originated in China and were not regulated or approved for any use by the FDA, can potentially cause toxic and fatal overdoses if consumed by humans. The two defendants, assisted by employee co-conspirators, repackaged the drugs into consumer-size containers and shipped them to various locations throughout the United States. The initial website remained online until September 2021, when Diaz launched a second website offering a nearly identical service. Despite disclaimers on the website and product packaging stating “for research purposes only,” and “not for human consumption,” the two defendants were aware that customers were purchasing the substances for personal use and consuming the drugs.
Field pleaded guilty on March 28 to conspiracy to defraud the United States and traffic in misbranded drugs. Diaz pleaded guilty on April 4 to the same charge. They each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8, 2023. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas; Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Houston Field Office made the announcement.
The FDA and DEA are investigating the case. This case was prosecuted utilizing resources from the Dark Market and Digital Currency Crimes (DMDCC) Task Force. The DMDCC Task Force is a joint effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Food and Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Baltimore County Police Department, targeting the use of dark net marketplaces and digital currencies to facilitate criminal activities.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Chung and Amy Hail are prosecuting the case.