Editors Choice

Judge David Hittner Judgments are Vindictive and Unconstitutional According to a Fifth Circuit Judge

“Everybody’s different,” United States District Judge David Hittner told Coates in case he’d heard about the more harsh sentencing of the man who turned him into police.

LIT COMMENTARY

Hittner is vindictive and his judgments are personal, going against the judicial oath of office. Here’s one appellate judge’s rebuke on an appeal case regarding Hittner’s sentencing ‘guidelines’;

 “Because no reason or justification for the sentence imposed [by HITTNER], beyond the naked power to impose it…I dissent from the affirmance of a sentence that must be presumed to be UNCONSITUTIONAL and VINDICTIVE.”  – U.S. v. Vontsteen, 950 F.2d 1086, 1095 (5th Cir. 1992).

2 fake Viagra vendors get diverging sentences

A federal judge in Houston came down tough Tuesday during sentencing for a Maryland man who confessed to selling thousands of dollars of counterfeit tablets for erectile dysfunction.

Federal prosecutors had asked for a two-and-a-half year prison term, and the federal public defender requested two years. But U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner nearly tripled the proposed totals, going above sentencing guidelines and ordering Martez Alando Gurley to more than seven years for his counterfeit scheme.

Hittner noted that two previous federal convictions in 2000 and 2005 were not enough to deter Gurley, and he did not want to reward him for cooperating with federal investigators “just because he got caught.”

Gurley, 41, had been free on bail. The judge rejected his lawyer’s request that he turn himself in and ordered he be immediately taken into custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Office.

Gurley previously pleaded guilty to selling the fake Viagra and Cialis across state lines and conspiracy to sell them. Prosecutors withdrew the remaining charges for his cooperation in helping them find the manufacturer in China and his co-defendant who bought and sold fake Viagra and Cialis pills in exchange with him.

Two hours later in the same courtroom, the same judge sentenced Gurley’s co-defendant using the standard guideline range.

Victor Lamar Coates, 47, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to four years in prison. He was allowed to remain free on bail and surrender when called to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Coates pleaded guilty to the same two charges. He had a prior criminal record but no federal convictions that the judge noted.

“Everybody’s different,” Hittner told Coates in case he’d heard about the more harsh sentencing of the man who turned him into police.

Gurley owes $410,508 in restitution to Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company which own the trademarks for Viagra and Cialis. Coates must pay the two companies $314,565 in restitution.

Two Sentenced for Trafficking in Counterfeit Viagra and Cialis

HOUSTON – Two men have been sentenced to federal prison following convictions of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit Viagra and Cialis and introducing adulterated and misbranded prescription drugs into interstate commerce, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Martez Alando Gurley, 41, and Victor Lamar Coates, 47, admitted they each trafficked more than 10,000 counterfeit tablets.

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Gurley to 75 months in federal prison and ordered him to pay $410,508 in restitution to Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company – the licensed patent trademark holders of Viagra and Cialis. Coates received a sentence of 46 months and must pay $314,565 in restitution. Each defendant must also serve three years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with ensuring that prescription drugs distributed to U.S. consumers are safe and effective. When criminals introduce prescription drugs into the U.S. that are not FDA-approved, they jeopardize the public’s health,” said Special Agent in Charge Spencer E. Morrison of the FDA – Office of Criminal Investigations’ (OCI) Kansas City Field Office. “Our office will continue to pursue and bring to justice those whose quest for profits places the public’s health at risk through the distribution of illegitimate drugs.”

Gurley was convicted of trafficking at least 12,960 counterfeit Viagra and counterfeit Cialis tablets from his home in Napa, California, while Coates was convicted of trafficking at least 10,288 counterfeit Viagra and counterfeit Cialis tablets from his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both defendants sold the counterfeit drugs to individuals in the Houston area for further distribution to unsuspecting customers. Gurley and Coates illegally imported the counterfeit into the United States from sources in China.

Testing on samples of the counterfeit Viagra revealed the drugs contained less than the 100 mg of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) listed on the labels, while testing on the counterfeit Cialis revealed small quantities of the Viagra API and none of the Cialis API. In addition, some of the counterfeit Viagra tablets were found to contain the unrelated compound 2-MBT. The counterfeit Viagra and Cialis tablets looked like the authentic products and included labels and packaging that closely resembled the registered trademarks of Eli Lilly and Company, and Pfizer Inc.

In arriving at the sentences, Judge Hittner considered the fact that the illegally imported counterfeit drugs did not contain the correct medication indicated on the labelling and could cause harm to unsuspecting consumers of the pills.

Gurley was immediately taken into custody following the hearing pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future, while Coates was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender at a later date.

The FDA – OCI and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Redlinger prosecuted the case.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

Donate to LawsInTexas. Make a Difference.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

© 2020 Laws In Texas. | All Rights Reserved.

To Top