A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted the FedEx Corporation on charges it knowingly shipped controlled substances - drugs whose distribution is controlled by the government - to people without valid prescriptions. The drugs were purchased from illegal online pharmacies.

The government says it has warned the shipping company multiple times since 2004 that pharmacies were using it to ship drugs, but the company failed to stop the shipments, leading to Thursday's announcement of a criminal prosecution against the shipper.

FedEx says the company is not responsible for drug interdiction and that it will defend itself in court. FedEx also says it repeatedly has asked the government  for a list of the online pharmacies and the government has failed to provide it.