14 persons associated with the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the 2012 meningitis outbreak. The meningitis outbreak took the lives of 64 people. The source of the infection was traced to tainted drug injection.
Among the fourteen who were arrested includes three members of the family whose business empire included the tainted pharmacy. The three members were Gregory, Douglas and Carla Conigliaro. The arrested also included Barry Cadden, a brother-in-law, who was also an owner. The fourteen individuals were arrested from their residence in a pre dawn swoop, according to a spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office said, Christina DiIorio-Sterling.
The charges which are a part of a 131 count indictment also include 25 predicate acts of second-degree murder along with counts of racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud. The defendants are expected to make an initial court appearance on Wednesday. All the defendants are also not accused of each count.
The indictment also included Glenn Adam Chin, 46, the head pharmacist of the company. He was picked at the Logan International Airport Boston in September when he was about to catch a flight to Hong Kong. The most serious charges have been framed against Mr. Chin and Mr. Cadden who are charged with racketeering and second-degree murder in seven states.
750 persons in 20 states were taken ill after they contracted fungal meningitis and other serious ailments after consuming tainted steroids made by the company. Most of the persons had received the steroid injections for back pain.
Among the other accusation in the indictment include willful use of expired ingredients in drugs, failing to sterilize the drugs and testing it to make sure they were sterile.
The Compounding Pharmacy has been charged by the US FDA for a number of unsafe practices which custom mixed medications and supplied them directly to hospitals and doctors. The contaminated medication first came to light in the fall of 2012 when regulators found a host of potential contaminants at the company’s Framingham plant which included standing water, mold, water droplets and dirty equipment.