Darren B. Stratton
An employee of Horsemen’s Tack, Inc. pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute misbranded prescription horse drugs Thursday.
During his time at the business in 2017, Darren Stratton, 45, of Haverhill, MA sold customers equine drugs without the necessary veterinary prescriptions, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Murray.
The Horsemen’s Tack website, which is no longer online, indicated that the business had a “vet on call.” Prosecutors say there was never a veterinarian on call at the New Hampshire business. Instead, Horsemen’s Tack had a long-standing relationship with a veterinarian licensed in New Hampshire.
Prosecutors say Stratton regularly used the veterinarian’s name and license. Although the veterinarian never visited the store, did not examine horses and provided no actual veterinary services, prosecutors say Stratton used the veterinarian’s name and license for ordering prescription drugs.
“When prescription drugs are sold unlawfully, they can end up in the wrong hands or be used for illicit purposes,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “We will continue to work closely with the FDA to protect the public by enforcing the laws related to prescription drugs.”
Federal agents executed a search warrant last September at the operation. They recovered a customer list, drugs, and vials with labels printed on site.
During the conspiracy Stratton and Horsemen’s Tack marketed, sold, and distributed numerous drugs for performance-enhancement in racehorses, including levothyroxine, estrone, amikacin, methocarbamol, dexamethasone, tranexamic acid, and erythropoietin/EPO, without lawful prescriptions and without the required labels.
Horsemen’s Tack operators include the following individuals, according to its website: President Dana Mindes, Jeffrey Mindes, and Ronnie Stratton, the father of Darren Stratton.
Stratton faces sentencing in December.