A sample of one of the fungi diagnosed in the fungal meningitis outbreak that swept the United States in 2012. CREDIT: REUTERS/HARRISON MCCLARY
Federal authorities on Thursday arrested a former New England Compounding Center pharmacist as he attempted to board a flight at Logan Airport to Hong Kong.
Glenn Adam Chin, a 46-year-old Canton man and former NECC pharmacist, was charged with one count of mail fraud as part of the U.S. Attorney and Justice Department's ongoing criminal investigation into the 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis connected to contaminated drugs prepared at the Framingham pharmacy.
The outbreak infected 751 patients who received tainted injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, or MPA, compounded at NECC resulting in 64 deaths.
Chin was the supervising pharmacist at NECC allegedly involved in compounding the contaminated drug, and has been charged with participating in a scheme to fraudulently cause a batch of the drug to be labeled as injectable and shipped to Michigan Pain Specialists, who had 217 patients infected and 15 die as a result of the virus.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office said its investigation is ongoing, but Chin was arrested and charged after authorities learned he was planning to leave the country on a flight scheduled to leave for Hong Kong Thursday.
Chin will appear in federal court later Thursday, and faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for the mail fraud charge.