DENVER (CBS4) — Mark Godding and Linda Godding of Fort Collins were both recently sentenced to six-month prison terms for distributing new “smart drugs” not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
The Goddings purchased the “nootropics” from foreign suppliers, mostly in China, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. They distributed the drugs to U.S. consumers as personal supplements.
The couple’s business also advertised that its products were tested by independent labs.
“In fact, they rarely tested any of their products before selling them to consumers, even after receiving complaints of side effects,” as stated in the press release.
Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers,” are largely unapproved by the FDA, prosecutors noted.
The Goddings purchased Might Stacks, LLC in December 2016 and began selling the drugs through the website bluebrainboost.com a month later. One of the offered products included tianeptine. While some people seek the drug to treat depression and anxiety, and it is available in other countries, it is considered unsafe by the FDA due to the high risk of addiction for those with a history of opioid use or misuse.
The Goddings also illegally sold multiple other unapproved and misbranded drugs such as adrafinil crystalline powder, aniracetam crystalline powder nicotine solution, IDRA-21, methylene blue solution, noopept crystalline powder, oxiracetam, phenibut hydrocholoride crystalline powder, coluracetam chrystalline powder, phenylpiracetam crystalline powder, pramiracetam, and sunifiram.
FDA investigators made undercover purchases of Blue Brain Boost drugs and had them delivered out of state. Some drugs repackaged in Blue Brain Boost containers and labeling did not contain adequate, if any, usage directions, prosecutors claimed in the case’s plea agreement. Others did not arrive in child-proof containers despite their potential lethality.
One customer, after purchasing Blue Brain Boost’s Tianeptine Sodium Powder, reported “a rapid heart rate, a pressure in brain and rapid breathing” after a single dose, and vomited out the product, as stated in the plea agreement.
“The defendants knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly placed customers at risk, and they undermined and evaded the extensive regulations put in place to protect those consumers,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan stated in the press release. “Their sentences should send a message to other businesses that we will hold you accountable if you disregard the law and threaten public health.”
Mark and Linda Godding pleaded guilty to charges in January. Mark Godding was sentenced May 20 and Linda Godding June 10.