Feds investigate dead Richmond County man accused of selling drugs out of print shop

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — Federal investigators say a man was selling testosterone and prescription drugs out of a print shop and accepting payment through Venmo.

The suspect in this case is dead, but feds are still trying to seize his assets, including his homes and cash. They say it was all connected to an illegal drug operation that happened inside his print shop. Undercover agents even went through his trash to make a case.

Three homes in Richmond County could soon belong to the federal government along with hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are all owned by or associated with a man named Mark Meland, who feds say ran a now-defunct website called Madison James Research. He ran it out of a print shop off Broad Avenue in Rockingham.

Feds claim Meland was selling products containing controlled substances, including testosterone and modafinil, which is a stimulant that reduces extreme sleepiness due to narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.

The feds say Meland didn’t require a prescription for those or any other controlled substances.

Investigators also questioned the quality of the drugs. They say they tested an order of modafinil and found out the capsules instead contained tamoxifen, which is used to treat breast cancer, and finasteride, which is used for hair growth.

Feds also think Meland was making his own drugs. An undercover agent went through a dumpster outside the print shop. Inside the trash, the agent found empty bottles of propylene glycol, an empty bottle of Everclear, empty boxes of insulin syringes, empty glass vials and an empty box labeled empty hard gelatin capsules.

According to court documents, Meland told law enforcement he used grapeseed oil to manufacture testosterone and steroids.

Feds say Meland told buyers to conceal their purchases when using Venmo by listing the purchases as being for groceries. Other keywords used included dance lessons and furniture.

Meland was criminally charged, but he died in February before the case went to trial.

A judge will determine whether the houses and cash can be seized at a later date.

The homes are on Rosalyn Drive, Pineview Court and Westfield Drive in Rockingham.

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