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FedEx charged with transporting drugs for illegal online pharmacies

Zach Honig
07.17.14
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Live animals. Hazardous waste. Used tires. Cash. These are all items that you can't ship via FedEx. Medication is accepted, however, as it poses no risk to the carrier -- or so it seemed. Today, FedEx was indicted in a US District Court, facing criminal charges for its role in providing logistics for illegal online pharmacies. Various US agencies have reportedly been warning FedEx to stop accepting such shipments for years, so as shocking as the charges may seem, they should come as no surprise to executives. If guilty, FedEx would have to hand over the $820 million or so it's earned by transporting drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone for black market distributers.

The company responded, saying that it will plead not guilty and will work to maintain its positive reputation. "We are a transportation company -- we are not law enforcement," Patrick Fitzgerald, SVP of Marketing and Communications explained in a statement. "We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers. We continue to stand ready and willing to support and assist law enforcement. We cannot, however, do the job of law enforcement ourselves." UPS was targeted with similar allegations last year, according to the San Jose Mercury News, and settled with the government for $40 million.

[Photo credit: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images]

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