Nashville warehouses used in multi-state drug operation - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Nashville warehouses used in multi-state drug operation

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Two Nashville warehouse were used to illegally store and distribute prescription drugs throughout the country, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The distribution warehouses, located at 1419 Donelson Parkway and 5245 Harding Place, were used to receive, sort, organize, package and ship the drugs to pharmacies throughout the U.S.

Charles Jeffrey Edwards, 51, and Brenda Elise Edwards, 42, both of Houston, TX, and Jerrod Nichols Smith, 43, of Sugar Land, TX, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 17, on charges that they obtained the pharmaceuticals from "street collectors" in New York and Miami, and sold those drugs to independent pharmacies as though the drugs had been obtained legitimately.

According to an indictment, between December 2006 and August 2009, Charles Edwards and Jerrod Smith owned and operated a company called Cumberland Distribution, Inc., a wholesale prescription drug distribution business licensed in Tennessee.

All three defendants were indicted on charges of conspiracy and mail fraud related to the scheme.

Additionally, Charles and Brenda Edwards were indicted on money laundering charges and Charles Edwards and Jerrod Smith were indicted for obstruction of justice.

The scheme resulted in a gross of $58 million and that the defendants gained over $14 million in profits, according to the indictment.

Those accused face up to 20 years in prison on each count of mail fraud, 10 years on each count of money laundering, five years on the count of conspiracy, and five years on the count of obstruction of justice. They face fines of $250,000 on each count.

Congress enacted the Prescription Drug Marketing Act in 1987 to combat a practice known as prescription drug diversion.

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