Feds: Western Pennsylvanians duped into buying illegally imported ‘smart drugs’
A Mercer County man pleaded guilty to plotting to sell to Western Pennsylvanians untested drugs from China and Russia that he claimed could make people smarter, federal prosecutors said.
Emil “Butch” Koledin, of Hermitage and the corporation he ran, Koledin Enterprises Inc., each entered guilty counts of conspiracy to defraud the federal government before U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said.
As part of his guilty plea, Emil Koledin admitted to using the now-defunct website, AwakeBrain.com, to sell products deemed “nootropics,” or drugs that can boost cognitive performance.
Koledin billed the products to customers as “smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro-exchangers and intelligence enhancements.” They included: adrafinil, bromantane, coluracetam, etifoxine, phenylpiracetam, theanine and tianetine.
“He falsely represented these drugs as legal to sell in the United States,” prosecutors said.
The products did not have appropriate labels, directions nor warnings “because they were manufactured in unapproved facilities,” prosecutors said.
Koledin illegally brought the drugs to the U.S., prosecutors said.
Most were manufactured in China or Russia.
Koledin’s conviction carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted the case with help from the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .