JANUARY 18--A Florida man faces upwards of 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty this week to a revolting product tampering scheme in which he returned used enemas to the CVS pharmacy where he purchased the items.
Ronald Robinson, 35, entered his guilty plea to a single felony tampering charge during an appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville. A sentencing date has not been set for Robinson, who has been jailed since last year.
As detailed by prosecutors in a January 16 court filing, Robinson’s tampering occurred between April and June 2012 and involved his repeated purchase of enemas (six to a box) from a CVS in Jacksonville.
After using the enemas, Robinson (seen in the above mug shot) placed them back into their boxes, resealed the containers, and returned the products for refunds. The used enemas were then reshelved by CVS workers and later sold to other customers.
Robinson was collared after a CVS employee became suspicious about the frequency with which he was returning enema packages. On one occasion, Robinson told the worker that he had purchased the enemas for his mother, but “she no longer needed them,” according to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report. When the worker examined the returned box, he “observed that all the enemas were used” and that the bottom of the package had been “re-glued…so that it appeared that it had not been opened.”
After learning of the tampering, federal agents identified “several purchasers of the used enemas.” Investigators subsequently identified “several more purchasers” of the tampered enema boxes. Court filings do not reveal how many of the CVS customers used the tainted enemas (some of which were found to contain fecal matter).
A Food and Drug Administration doctor advised federal investigators that infections and communicable diseases--like HIV, salmonella, and the hepatitis B and C viruses--could be transmitted via used enemas. Robinson’s guilty plea includes the acknowledgement that the tampering was done with “reckless disregard that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury.”
In addition to a maximum prison term of 10 years, Robinson could face a $250,000 fine and a probation term of up to three years. A judge could also order Robinson, who has a lengthy rap sheet, to pay restitution to his victims. (6 pages)