Johnny Stine, of Redmond, Washington, was arrested on federal charges for introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.
What We Know:
- Stine, 55, claims to be the founder and President of North Coast Biologics, from which he claimed to have a COVID-19 vaccine for sale ranging from $400 to $1000 each. He posted his services online from as early as March 2, 2020.
- A news release from the Dept. of Justice reports that U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran said the vaccine was “untested, untried and potentially unsafe”. “This defendant was injecting people with an unknown substance claiming it was a vaccine for COVID-19,” adds Moran, “preying on our fears in the midst of this pandemic is unconscionable. DOJ continues to investigate and prosecute these fraud cases.”
- Authorities began their investigation into Stine’s business back in March after the Food and Drug Administration was alerted to his social media posts. An undercover agent then contacted Stine, who admitted to having a coronavirus vaccine for sale.
“Stine claimed that his main biotech effort was creating vaccines that attack cancer tumors. He indicated that he had used a similar method to develop his Covid-19 vaccine,” the news release states.
- Although the Justice Department did not say how many people Stine allegedly treated, a lawsuit filed in Seattle indicates that it was around 30 people. In June, Stine signed a consent decree to repay the roughly 30 people he sold his Covid-19 “spike protein” vaccine to.
- The news release also states that one person contacted the FDA about the unauthorized vaccine, saying that their friend had been injected. More recently, investigators learned that another person, who allegedly received one of his shots, had been hospitalized with the coronavirus.
If convicted, Stine faces up to a year in prison. Only two Covid-19 vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, have been approved for emergency use by the FDA.
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