Guilty Plea In Case Involving Equine Drugs, Feds Seize Customer List

POSTED ON  |  02-10-2018

Darren B. Stratton, 45, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute misbranded prescription animal drugs, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced. According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 2017 through September 2017, defendant Stratton worked at Horsemen's Tack, Inc. in Newton, New Hampshire.  Among the products Stratton sold to certain customers were equine drugs that were not accompanied by the required prescriptions.  Sales of these drugs defrauded and misled the company's drug suppliers, federal and state regulators, and the general public.

Although the website for Horsemen's Tack indicated that the business had a “vet on call,” in fact there was no vet on call.  Instead, Horsemen's Tack had a long-standing relationship with a veterinarian licensed in New Hampshire.  Stratton regularly used the veterinarian's name and license to order prescription animal drugs from mail-order pharmacies even though the veterinarian never visited the Newton store, did not examine horses or meet with horse owners, and provided no actual veterinary services.  During the conspiracy Stratton and Horsemen's Tack marketed, sold, and distributed numerous drugs for performance-enhancement in racehorses, including levothyroxine, estrone, amikacin, methocarbamol, dexamethasone, tranexamic acid, and erythropoietin/EPO, without lawful prescriptions and without required labels.

On September 20, 2017, federal agents executed a search warrant at Horsemen's Tack and recovered a customer list, prescription drugs, and numerous vials with labels printed on-site.

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