Crime

Bath County man accused of selling dangerous herbal remedy

A Bath County man blocked federal agents from inspecting a business where he made an alleged dangerous herbal remedy, a federal grand jury charged Thursday.

The grand jury indicted Samuel A. Girod on a dozen charges, including conspiracy, distributing misbranded drugs and threatening a witness to try to keep business documents away from the grand jury. The witness-tampering charge, the most serious, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Girod operated businesses under several names, including Satterfield Naturals, that made and marketed products for treatment of health problems, according to the indictment.

The indictment said the products included Chickweed Healing Salve, for skin problems including cancer; R.E.P., for sinus infections or use as a breath freshener; and TO-MOR-GONE, promoted as a natural herbal remedy for removal of warts, moles and tumors.

The indictment said TO-MOR-GONE included a bloodroot extract that had a caustic, corrosive effect on skin. However, the product label did not warn of that or the scarring that could result, the grand jury charged.

Girod allegedly did not register his facility as required with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In 2013, a federal court in Missouri barred Girod from distributing the products until he met certain conditions, including letting FDA inspect the facility where he made the products, the indictment said. However, Girod and others surrounded two FDA officers when they showed up in November 2013 and kept them from inspecting his shop, the indictment said.

Girod was not available for comment. A woman who answered a call to the number listed for Satterfield Naturals said she is Girod's neighbor. Girod is Amish and does not have a telephone, the woman said.

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