A 34-year-old La Plata man pleaded guilty Friday to peddling phony Viagra on Craigslist, after the four-month scheme was discovered by an undercover investigator working for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corp.

Dwayne Alan Skiles faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 20, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office said. His 28-year-old co-defendant, Sarah Ann Basley Knott, of Waldorf, was sentenced to two years probation in August.

She marketed the counterfeit "little blue pills," which were masked as the erectile-dysfunction treatment Viagra, and handled their shipping, court records show. Skiles, meanwhile, collected the payments through Western Union, according to his plea agreement.

"I am not happy that either of us has to put our names on the [Western Union]. But the fact is, it has been working well and there is no reason to stop now," Skiles wrote in an email to Knox on New Year's Eve, 2009. The scheme began in November and ran through February 2010, according to prosecutors.

An investigator for Pfizer, which manufactures the real Viagra, uncovered the plot by posing as a customer under the name "Frank DeFranco."

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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