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Ephedrine is produced as a nasal decongestant, but is also a stimulant commonly used for weight loss and as an appetite suppressant. It is also a major ingredient in the production of crystal methamphetamine. ((IStock))

A P.E.I. woman and her Nova Scotian father have been charged with exporting a controlled drug without authorization.

Kelly MacKinnon, 36, of Charlottetown, and 63-year-old Barry James MacKinnon of Middle Sackville, were charged Thursday by the Canada Border Services Agency in Halifax.

The agency alleges the two sold more than three million tablets of ephedrine to international customers through their internet business, Nice and Natural.  

Ephedrine is produced as a nasal decongestant, but is also a stimulant commonly used for weight loss and as an appetite suppressant. It is also a major ingredient in the production of crystal methamphetamine.

The CBSA claims the tablets were sold in more than 5,000 transactions to a number of countries, but mainly to the U.S. between January and November of last year.

The agency laid the charges after searching the homes of the two accused in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

Investigators say the ephedrine was dissolved in liquid and concealed in shipments declared as gifts and dietary supplements.

The CBSA began its investigation after getting a tip last spring.

Barry and Kelly MacKinnon are charged under the Customs Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

They're set to appear in court Feb. 10 in Halifax.