The Latest: Prosecutor says FedEx ignored drug warning

 

SAN FRANCISCO – The Latest on the trial of FedEx over allegations it knowingly shipped illegal prescription drugs (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

Prosecutors say FedEx continued to deliver illegal prescription drugs for an internet pharmacy even after law enforcement officials told the shipping giant that the pharmacy delivered drugs to a woman who committed suicide.

Assistant U.S. attorney John Hemann cited the warning during his opening trial statement Monday as evidence that FedEx knew its customers were shipping illegal drugs.

FedEx is facing numerous drug charges alleging it knowingly delivered illegal prescription drugs such as Ambien from pill mills to dealers and addicts, some of whom died.

FedEx has denied the charges and says it only shipped what it believed were legal drugs from licensed pharmacies.

Its attorneys are expected to make their opening statement later in the day.

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12 a.m.

The U.S. government and FedEx are set to do battle in federal court in San Francisco over the explosive claim that the shipping company knowingly delivered illegal prescription drugs such as Ambien from pill mills to dealers and addicts, some of whom died.

FedEx has denied the charges and says it only shipped what it believed were legal drugs from licensed pharmacies. Opening statements are scheduled to start Monday.

The trial is unusual both for the government’s decision to bring drug charges against a package delivery company and for the lack of a settlement. Rival UPS Inc. paid $40 million in 2013 to resolve similar allegations that arose from a yearslong government crackdown on Internet pharmacies that ship drugs to customers without valid prescriptions.

The stakes are high for Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx. Though no FedEx officials are facing prison time, the charges carry a potential fine of $1.6 billion.

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