Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!


FedEx weighs in on indictment

Says that it was never compliant in drug trafficking and would have discontinued service if asked

During its federal court arraignment On July 29, FedEx plead not guilty to an indictment charging the company with facilitating the distribution of controlled substances. The indictment, which was brought in a San Francisco Federal Court, charges the company with shipping opioids and other pharmaceuticals for Internet pharmacies, many of which did not require prescriptions before selling to customers. FedEx has previously said that it denies any allegations that it colluded with pharmacies or facilitated the shipment of drugs in any capacity and reached out to clarify several points, reaffirming that position.

In a statement sent to the InsideCounsel, FedEx makes clear its position on the issue. Patrick Fitzgerald, FedEx senior vice president Marketing and Communications, said, “FedEx does not tolerate the use of our networks for any illegal activity, and we have a long history of partnering with law enforcement throughout the country to stop unlawful use of our networks. These efforts include providing assistance to the DEA in combatting rogue Internet pharmacies. FedEx continues to ask that the government provide a list of pharmacies engaging in illegal activity, so that the company can immediately discontinue accepting their shipments."


Related Stories:

FedEx faces arraignment for drug trafficking charges

U.S. Attorney Haag announces FedEx indictment

FedEx indictment debated


FedEx also directly addressed several of the claims that the indictment made. For example in paragraph 4 , the inducement charges that "on no less than six different occasions, the DEA, FDA or members of Congress and their staff informed FedEx that illegal Internet pharmacies were using its shipping services." 

In response questions about whether or not the company was contacted or told to shut down services, Fitzgerald says, “No. We stand ready to discontinue service immediately to any pharmacy the government identifies to us as engaging in illegal activities.”

As for the potential penalties that the company could face, Fitzgerald says, “The $820 million number in the government's indictment and accompanying press release reflects an alleged maximum fine, not a mandatory penalty. The number purports to include gains made by the online pharmacy shippers discussed in the indictment.  We have no information about the pharmacies' finances, but FedEx's gains from shipments by the pharmacies listed in the indictment were far below $820 million. We note that United Parcel Service paid $40 million to resolve a similar investigation by the Department of Justice relating to providing shipping services for internet pharmacies that the government claims were operating illegally. “

While still very early in the proceedings of the case, we’ll continue to update as the story develops.


Executive Editor

author image

Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.