U.S. Attorney: Dahlonega imported misbranded male-enhancement drugs from China

This image obtained from the Food and Drug Administration website shows the packaging of Rhino 7, a product promoted and sold for sexual enhancement on various websites and possibly in some retail stores. A Dahlonega couple is accused of selling a similar product under the same name which were illegally imported in misbranded packaging.

Prosecutors say a Dahlonega married couple made between $550,000 and $1.5 million by importing misbranded male-enhancement products, containing the drug in Viagra, from China and selling them under names like Rhino 7, Super Hard and Jack Rabbit.

Irfanali Momin and Shiba I. Momin pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Rome to naturalization fraud and conspiring to illegally import misbranded drug products from China, receiving isbranded drugs that had moved in interstate commerce and trafficking counterfeit goods.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia:

Between August 2014 and November 2018, the Momins ordered and sold what prosecutors described as male enhancement products from China. The products contained sildenafil or tadalafil — the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Viagra and Cialis.

The pills were marketed under names like Black Mamba, Rhino 69, Bull, Zhen Gongfu, Pro Power Max, Libigrow, Red Mamba and Hard Steel.

In order to evade import restrictions, the Momins’ China-based suppliers mislabeled the boxes containing the illegal pills to make it appear that the boxes contained items that can be legally imported into the U.S., such as beauty products, health products, and health supplies.

Prosecutors said the couple also sold other counterfeit items — such as designer watches, headphones and e-cigarette devices — from their Dalton warehouse.

Another facet of the case is the citizenship status of the couple, who were naturalized in August 2014.

Prosecutors say that Irfanali Momin falsely stated on his application that he had never been married. However, he had been married to two women at the same time.

On her application form, Shiba Momin passed herself off under a false name — Saguftabanu Momin. The investigation revealed she had obtained a Georgia’s driver’s license in her real name but later got a fraudulent license in the name she used to apply for citizenship.

The couple was originally arrested on Jan. 8 after a grand jury returned a multi-count indictment against them.

As a consequence of their guilty pleas to naturalization fraud, U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones will sign an order following sentencing that revokes their U.S. citizenship.

“These defendants profited by taking a shortcut — one that could have had devastating consequences for individuals who purchased these products,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak in a release.

“By illegally importing and distributing products containing drugs that can only be obtained in the United States with a prescription written by a licensed, medical professional, the Momins put profit over public safety,” he said.

Sentencing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 7, 2021.

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