Federal prosecutors said on Wednesday authorities have arrested and charged a Florida man and his three sons for allegedly selling a bleach-like chemical mixture they are claiming to be a cure for the deadly coronavirus and several other lethal diseases and illnesses.
Fake vaccine for the coronavirus
The criminal complaint wrote the suspects marketed the substance as "Miracle Mineral Solution" and sold it across the nation using an agency called Genesis II Church of Health and Healing situated in Bradenton, Florida, as reported by AP News.
In April, a Miami federal judge ordered the church to stop the operations of selling the product which the establishment had since ignored.
Authorities arrested the suspects; 62-year-old Mark Grenon and his three sons: Jonathan, Joseph, and Jordan Grenon.
The men have been charged with conspiring to defraud the United States, violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, along with criminal contempt.
As seen in the Miami federal court records on Wednesday, authorities did not list any attorneys for the Grenons. The suspects, if convicted of all charges, would be sentenced to a maximum of between 14 and 17 years in prison.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the product the Grenons mixed and marketed turned into bleach when drank by humans. The chemical is typically used in industrial works and authorities have warned it could be fatal if ingested.
In a news release last August, the government agency stated the mixture is nearly identical to bleach and cautioned the public over its use and urged parents not to give the solution to their children no matter the circumstances.
The FDA revealed it did not approve the mixture for any use in medical issues. Still, the Grenon family advertised the product not only as a cure for the coronavirus but also as a cure for several other fatal diseases and illnesses.
According to Yahoo News, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, a Miami US attorney, said the product was toxic and that its distribution and use across the nation could result in patients who are suffering from severe diseases including the coronavirus not to receive the legitimate healthcare assistance they need.
Orshan reassured that officials would do everything in their power to ensure that individuals working to harm the public will not be let alone to their own devices.
The complaint also noted that the Grenons initially agreed to follow the order set by US District Judge Kathleen who said they were to cease the sale of the mixture. The four men then continued to change their attitude and efforts in podcasts and emails sent to Kathleen.
One email from Mark Grenon wrote the family would not be abiding or participating in the orders which they deemed were unconstitutional, nor would they appear in the summons and other demands from the court. He continued to send online messages saying the government had no authority over their church, as reported by KTUL.