Hood River Police Chief Bruce Ludwig confirmed today (April 20) that his agency last week assisted 46 federal agents in serving a search warrant at two business locations and the personal residence of Hood River businessman James G. Cole.
“We assisted the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. District Attorney and were present when they served the search warrant,” Ludwig said. “They seized product from the shelves and some machines that are supposed to help you lose weight.”
Cole, according to his Facebook page, owns Maxam Nutraceutics, TurboSonic USA, Advanced Sports Nutrition and the fitness center, The Big Gym.
The company, with offices at 1020-D Wasco St., produces and markets nutritional supplements online and through the Big Gym. Visitors to the Maxam Nutraceutics web site on April 20 were greeted with the message “Our website is currently under maintenance. If you need assistance please call 1-800-800-9119.”
The Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 12, 2010, issued a warning letter to Cole and Maxam. Before getting into itemized detail, the letter said:
“This letter concerns your firm’s marketing of your products: PCA-Rx, PC3x, AFX, AD-Rx, AN-Rx, Anavone, AV-Rx, BioGuard, BSAID, CF-Rx, CreOcell, Dermatotropin, Endotropin, GTF-Rx, IM-Rx, Keto-Plex, Natural Passion, NG-Rx, NX-Rx, OR-Rx, Oxy-Charge, PN-Rx, Ultra-AV, Ultra Pure Yohimbe, and the Heavy Metal Screening Test on your website, www.maxamlabs.com1. These products are marketed in violation of provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) as described below.”
When asked if the recent search and seizure had anything to do with that warning letter, Charles Breen, Seattle District director of the FDA, would say only that “I know of what you’re saying.”
He referred us to Alan Bennett, the district’s public affairs specialist, who said he had no knowledge of the matter, but would check into it.
A subsequent call to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Portland led to no additional information.
A search of the U.S. Court system’s online database showed no current court activity involving Cole or Maxam.
Cole was traveling and unavailable to comment when the Biz Buzz tried to reach him Wednesday (4/20/11) afternoon.