Skip to Content

Feds Drop Charges Claiming FedEx Knowingly Trafficked Illegal Prescription Drugs

FedEx Corp. Deliveries Being Made Ahead Of EarnsFedEx Corp. Deliveries Being Made Ahead Of Earns
FedEx has maintained that it can't be expected to know what's in every package.Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

In 2014, the U.S. Justice Department launched a criminal case against delivery giant FedEx (FDX) for allegedly trafficking medications from illegal online pharmacies. But the federal government has now dropped all remaining charges in the case, according to FedEx.

The Department of Justice claimed in its indictment two years ago that FedEx was aware for as long as a decade that its services were being used to distribute prescription treatments from illicit virtual dispensaries where the drugs could be purchased without a legal prescription. “FedEx knew that it was delivering drugs to dealers and addicts,” prosecutors said at the time.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, charges against the company included conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and the DOJ claimed that FedEx had even taken steps to shield itself from financial losses in case the online pharmacies were shut down.

FedEx has retorted that it can’t be expected to know the contents of every delivery it makes, and that the DOJ should have focused its legal firepower on the pharmacies themselves.


“The case should never have been brought,” said FedEx Senior VP of Marketing and Communications Patrick Fitzgerald in a statement on Friday. “The government should take a very hard look at how they made the tremendously poor decision to file these charges…. The power of the government was greatly misused when the case was initiated, but the government’s integrity was redeemed by the decision to dismiss the charges today.”

Fortune has reached out to the Justice Department for comment on why it’s decided to drop the case, and will update this post if it responds.