Lawyer indicted for alleged role in illegal Internet pharmacy case

Wednesday, January 25th 2006, 10:31 am
By: News On 6

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A lawyer has been indicted on federal charges alleging he helped an Internet pharmacy illegally obtain narcotics and helped its founder hide assets.

Daniel Adkins, who was general counsel for Xpress Pharmacy Direct, helped deceive legitimate pharmacies into supplying the narcotics that Xpress hawked over the Internet and by telephone, according to the indictment issued Tuesday.

Federal authorities say Xpress filled about 72,000 illegal prescriptions for pain killers and other controlled substances, generating sales of about $20 million. Authorities shut down Xpress last May and company founder Christopher Smith, his accountant and a doctor who issued prescriptions were indicted in August.

The indictment alleges that Adkins helped Smith hide assets after they learned about the investigation. It also alleges that Adkins wrote to legitimate pharmacies from which Xpress ordered drugs, assuring them that Xpress was ``both legal and authorized by federal and state statutes.''

Adkins was charged with conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances, wire fraud; unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances and misbranding drugs. If convicted of wire fraud he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Adkins, from St. Paul, refused to comment and referred calls to his own attorney, Earl Gray. Gray said Wednesday that the allegations ``are simply not true.''

Smith's bail was revoked for violating the terms of his release and he remains in custody.