LOS ANGELES — Officials arrested a former Korean law enforcement officer Wednesday on suspicion of smuggling about 40,000 fake erectile dysfunction pills through LAX, authorities said.
Kil Jun Lee, 71, was taken arrested at his Los Angeles home Wednesday on suspicion of trafficking in counterfeit goods, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said in a written statement.
The arrest came after 29,827 phony Viagra pills, 8,993 fake Cialis pills and 793 bogus Levitra pills were discovered in his golf bag and luggage Feb. 25 as he was flying from Korea to Los Angeles, officials said. The counterfeit medications were valued at about $700,000.
“When (Homeland Security Investigations) agents at LAX questioned Lee about whether the medication was for his personal use, he said if he used all of the pills it would kill him because he had a heart condition,” according to the statement.
Tests later determined the pills Lee had did not match the ingredients of the real products, officials added.
Also Wednesday, 38-year-old Barry Ronnel Johnson of Canoga Park pleaded guilty to trafficking and importing counterfeit goods, which he then sold through Craigslist.com, authorities said.
Johnson’s smuggling was discovered at LAX, where officials seized about 1,700 phony erectile dysfunction pills being sent to his home address from China and India, according to ICE.
“Subsequently, the defendant sold 30 blue diamond-shaped tablets labeled “Filagra” to an HSI undercover agent posing as a buyer on Craigslist,” according to the statement.