Flea markets' draw extends to medicine

Jobless, uninsured and horribly ill with the flu, a 60-year-old Patterson man turned to the last place he knew to take care of himself -- a makeshift illegal pharmacy at the Seventh Street remate, or flea market.

Afraid he would be prosecuted for buying medication illegally, the man asked to remain anonymous. He said he turned to the flea market, which he heard about from a friend, after he realized the $20 in his pocket wouldn't cover a visit to the doctor and a prescription.

"I know it's illegal," he said. "But it is all I could afford."

If caught, buyers face a maximum $20,000 fine and a year in jail. Sellers face a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail.