The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raided nine stores in Central Florida that assist customers with placing orders for low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, Kaiser Health News reported Monday, suggesting a shift away from a long-standing policy that benefited consumers but was strongly condemned by the pharmaceutical industry.

“The storefronts primarily serve seniors who prefer in-person assistance with buying medicines from Canada and other countries, rather than using an internet site,” Kaiser reports. Bill Hepscher, co-owner of six of the stores raided last month, estimates his business serves about 10,000 people a year, and that Florida has about 20 stores similar to his. His stores are located around Tampa Bay and Orlando.

According to Kaiser, Hepscher’s and “most other storefronts use only foreign pharmacies certified by the nonprofit company or the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, which verifies the pharmacies as safe,” and “the drugs from foreign pharmacies often are made in the same manufacturing plants around the world as drugs sold in U.S. pharmacies.”

The late October raids indicate an apparent reversal of a long-standing “non-enforcement” policy; although importing medication from foreign countries is illegal, rather than filling prescriptions, these stores simply help customers place orders that ship directly to their homes. Some of Hepscher’s stores that were raided have been operating for more than 15 years.

The FDA agents told Hepscher that anyone who helps “administer” illegally imported drugs could face fines or prison. They served him with a search warrant for computers, paperwork related to sales, and any medications found on site. Although they left the computers, they took copies of customers’ paper files as well as the stores’ financial and bank records. Agents also left him with a letter—which he refused to sign—to acknowledge his company’s practices as illegal.