Other artists drew inspiration for their work from everyday experiences.Boris Savelev’s (1980) is an abstract view of snowballs thrown against a dark, graffiti-covered wall.
The clear syrup, mixed into a glass of water, is considered to be as harmless as most over-the-counter cough medicines are in the United States. The alleged distribution of Valocordin at Healthway Pharmacy offers a look at immigrants' cultural health practices, which can run afoul of American regulations.
Experts say immigrants in the Baltimore area and across the United States often turn to foreign drugs as trusted alternatives in the face of rising costs for doctors' visits and prescription drugs.
The drug can't be marketed or promoted to other residents and it must not represent an "unreasonable risk." The treatment must start in the foreign country where the drug originated and the amount allowed into the country is limited.
For drugs that are considered controlled substances in the United States, just 50 units are allowed in the country, Shepherd said.
Many of the works date to the 1980s when the Soviet Union was increasingly opening up to the West.
Highlights of the exhibition include Sergey Kozhemyakin’s (1990), a series of four gelatin silver prints, in which a view of a statue of Lenin is scratched and darkened until the monument is rendered unrecognizable.
Part of the alleged conspiracy involved Healthway Pharmacy, where prosecutors said owner Salim Yusufov, 43, received and distributed 130 milliliters of Valocordin on five occasions between July 2010 and July 2011.
The indictment said his pharmacy "illegally imported unapproved prescription drugs from Russia and sold them to customers."Federal court records do not list a lawyer for Yusufov.
Caleb Alexander, an associate professor at the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, said he has treated two patients from Russia or Eastern Europe who have told him that they take Valocordin intermittently at home."Although the drug has a barbiturate in it and has a sedative effect, I don't think it's high on the [Drug Enforcement Administration] level or the FDA priority level of drugs that are abused," he said.
But Alexander said that doesn't mean the drug or its alleged distribution in Pikesville was safe."In what context was this drug being provided to individuals in the community? "They certainly weren't coming in with prescriptions from their doctors?
When federal authorities indicted an alleged Pikesville crime ring on charges of trafficking millions of dollars' worth of smuggled cigarettes, they also accused the group of moving an unusual piece of contraband: a medication sold over the counter in Russia.