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Claremont Woman Bought Three Pharmacies in an Elaborate Scheme to Export Purple Drank to Houston

Liquid medicine via Shutterstock
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A woman in Claremont bought three pharmacies as a part of an elaborate scheme to get her hands on some cheap purple drank to export to Houston for a hefty profit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.Owning three pharmacies allowed Lucita Uy, 70, to get her hands on a bottle of promethazine for super-cheap wholesale prices. She would buy promethazine for $9 a bottle in Southern California and export it to Houston, where the same bottle could go for $600 on the street as purple drank, syrup, purple liquid, lean (or any of the other names you can find on Urban Dictionary).

Uy and three other defendants — including her son Lemuel Libunao and two others based in Houston Christopher Lamont Crawford and Kendra Patrice Manigault — are facing federal charges of laundering money obtained from the illegal distribution of promethazine.

Uy bought Plaza Pharmacy in Santa Ana, Value Plus Pharmacy in Long Beach, and Blue Rose Pharmacy in Buena Park. Then she is alleged to have spent more than $1.1 million to buy 100,000 pints of promethazine to ship to Texas. Altogether the defendants deposited more than $6.9 million in cash and more than $2.7 million in money orders into bank accounts. A trial is scheduled at the end of the month.