LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man is accused of selling erectile dysfunction medication and opioids through the mail, leading to at least one overdose death and the seizure of hundreds of pounds of bulk controlled substances, court documents the 8 News Now I-Team reviewed Monday said.
Christopher Housley, 49, faces charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to distribute misbranded drugs, and money laundering, according to federal court documents.
As part of their investigation, federal agents in New York City said they seized nearly 400 pounds of illegal drugs bound for Housley in Las Vegas that came into the country from India, court documents said.
Federal investigators later found shipping records, which showed Housley sent nearly 5,000 packages between May and June 2021, they said.
Investigators believe Housley was using the name “Robert White” as an alias, they said. Federal investigators found a P.O. box registered to White at a Las Vegas UPS store. The exact location of the store was not indicated in court documents.
In January 2021, investigators in New York City seized 17 parcels bound for Housley in Las Vegas, they said. The packages contained the substances carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer; tadalafil, a medication for erectile dysfunction; and sildenafil, a second medication for erectile dysfunction, investigators said. The parcels weighed a combined 26 pounds, they said.
In June 2021, police in Wisconsin informed federal investigators about a suspected overdose death that involved Housley, federal investigators said. The person was found deceased inside an apartment in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with packages of aspadol, a pain medication, and carisoprodol tablets near them.
The packages “were still bubble wrapped and found in or near a USPS box postmarked May 20, 2021, with a sender’s name of Robert White,” investigators wrote in federal court documents. The packaging of the pills contained information about a website called buytapentadol.com. The website is now seized.
The person’s death was later determined to be from tapentadol intoxication, investigators said. Tapentadol, a pain medication, is the active ingredient in aspadol tablets. The tablets are not FDA-approved, investigators said.
In August 2021, drug agents made an undercover buy of the tapentadol tablets through the buytapentadol.com website, they said. The return address on the packages was for Housley’s suspected alias, investigators said.
In September 2021, border patrol agents in New York City seized more packages for Housley containing tapentadol and sildenafil. The amount in the packages totaled nearly 240 pounds, investigators said.
In October 2021, investigators made another undercover buy from the website, they said. That same month, investigators said they watched Housley as he entered a U.S. post office near Pebble and Pecos roads with “a trash bag full of packages,” they wrote in court documents. Investigators learned Housley had attempted to ship 20 packages that day – all with the return shipping address of Robert White.
Investigators later obtained a search warrant for Housley’s email account, finding a spreadsheet with order numbers and product information from the reported illegal drug sales, they said.
In November, agents in New York City seized a third shipment from India of tapentadol. The total amount weighed nearly 35 pounds, they said. In March, agents seized a fourth shipment, weighing more than 150 pounds, they said.
A grand jury indicted Housley on the charges last week. He was due in court Tuesday. Because the case is in federal court, a booking photo for Housley was not provided. A judge released him on bond pending his Tuesday court date.
Housley denies the allegations, his attorney said Monday. A second man is charged in connection with the manufacturing of the pills, records showed.