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Owner of Minnesota pharmaceutical business charged in drug conspiracy

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Federal prosecutors believe a Minnesota pharmaceutical wholesale company and the man who owns it are deeply involved in a far-reaching and illicit prescription drug trade.

According to an indictment unsealed this week, 50-year-old David Miller, owner of Minnesota Independent Cooperative (MIC) in Eagan, bought more than $150 million in illegally obtained pharmaceuticals from a group of accused racketeers in California from 2010 to 2014.

Officials believe Miller knew his sources were not licensed to sell the drugs, and knew that they had been "procured through unlicensed" sellers when he bought them.

According to the Pioneer Press, he may have sold as much as $393 millions in drugs from 2007 to 2014, but it's not clear what portion of that is connected to the illicit products.

The paper says Miller is a resident of Santa Ana, California.

The Justice Department states that Miller is a "central figure" in the alleged criminal network, whose influence apparently reached from California and Minnesota to Ohio and Puerto Rico.

As for the accused sellers of the prescription drugs, Ara Karapedyan, Mihran Stepanyan, and Artur Stepanyan, the charges against them allege a busy criminal enterprise with a long list of activities – like identity theft, fraud, money laundering, and murder-for-hire, officials say.

Miller faces a maximum penalty of 95 years in prison.

The MIC website is currently dark, but a notice indicates it will be back up next week.

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