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Long Island woman arrested after selling tainted weight loss drugs on TikTok

Isis Navarro Reyes is accused of illegally peddling mislabeled weight loss drugs on the social media app, leading to at least one person developing a serious bacterial infection.
Isis Navarro Reyes, a/k/a "Beraly Navarro"
Posted at 1:45 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 16:04:22-04

A would-be social media influencer from Long Island has been arrested for allegedly peddling tainted and misbranded weight loss drugs on TikTok that left at least one person with a serious infection.

Federal prosecutors accuse 36-year-old Isis Navarro Reyes of using the social media platform to illegally sell bacteria-contaminated prescription medications, including Ozempic, that she had obtained from Central and South America. Reyes — who goes by the name Beraly Navarro — allegedly posted dozens of videos on Tiktok promoting the drugs and told viewers to contact her via an encrypted messaging app to buy them from her.

The injectable drug Ozempic.

Medicine

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In one case, the complaint states that a female victim who had viewed Reyes' videos reached out and purchased 30 injections of the weight-loss drug Mesofrance, which Reyes mailed to her residence in White Plains, New York. The woman then allegedly received an audio message from Reyes instructing her to inject the medication every three days.

However, after self-administering 28 injections, the woman began developing lesions and was later diagnosed with a mycobacterium abscessus infection, the complaint states. The New York Department of Health tested one of the vials of Mesofrance the victim had purchased and confirmed it was contaminated with a rapidly growing mycobacterium that's resistant to several drugs.

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Starting in December 2023, prosecutors said an undercover law enforcement officer reached out to Reyes regarding her supply of Ozempic. The complaint states that Reyes told the undercover officer to send $375 to a Zelle account belonging to an Isis Reyes Navarro and did not ask them to provide a prescription.

Prosecutors said the officer received a package from Reyes on about Jan. 12 containing what appeared to be Ozempic. But all of the labeling on the medication was in Spanish and in violation of FDA regulations.

Photos of packaging containing the purported Ozempic.
Photos of packaging containing the purported Ozempic.

Authorities said Reyes was arrested on charges of smuggling, receipt of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce, dispensing prescription drugs without prescriptions, and conspiracy to introduce and deliver a misbranded drug in interstate commerce. If found guilty, she faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years behind bars.

"Reyes’ alleged unlawful dispensing of these drugs caused significant, life-threatening injuries to some victims and put all of her victims in harm’s way," said U.S. District Attorney Damian Williams. "Recently, public interest in semaglutide and weight loss drugs has skyrocketed, and criminals have sought to take advantage of this interest for their ends.  With this, the first misbranding and adulteration charges brought pertaining to Ozempic, Reyes will be held accountable for her conduct, and criminals should think twice before trying to sell weight loss drugs without a license to do so."