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Tuesday 30, Sep 2008

  Bodybuilder sentenced to prison for steroid-related charges

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justin-deprospo-steroidsTwenty-two-year old Jonathan DeProspo of Watertown, MA., has been sentenced due to his role in an international steroid distribution ring.

A US District Court in Boston handed down the decision Wednesday, sentencing DeProspo to a year and a day in prison. After serving his prison term, he will be put under supervised release for three more years.

In February, DeProspo pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to possess anabolic steroids with intent to distribute, possession of anabolic steroids with intent to distribute, and money laundering.

He has been under investigation by DEA and Internal Revenue Service agents for months before he was charged.

A month prior to his guilty plea, DeProspo’s brother, Justin, also pleaded guilty to similar charges.

The case against the DeProspo brothers was made using video surveillance, public records, telephone records, as well as Internet transactions. The brothers have been linked with British Dragon, an online source for anabolic steroids. In March this year, the two alleged founders of British Dragon have been arrested in Asia in an international sting operation.

According to court documents, Jonathan DeProspo has revealed during a taped conversation that “he had been involved in the steroid business for over four years and has two to three different steroid sources and tons of customers.”

Monday 04, Aug 2008

  Steroid sentencing

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Who knew the FBI was involved with steroid busts? wasn’t that only the DEA?  We thought the FBI was concentrating on such things as terrorism not steroids.  Although there is a surprise in this steroid bust, the time of the sentencing.  It seems the time in jail for steroid distribution has been going down.  At the start of the anti-steroid agenda, steroid producers were getting 4-10 years, insane sentencing for some white collar worker who was just selling steroids to friends.  Now, the sentencing has gone down, with this latest steroid bust ending up with about 16 months in jail, that’s roughly 10-12 months with good behavior.

This might be related to the steroid dealer who was busted for selling steroids on myspace, so that’s possible as to the reason why the FBI was involved.  Otherwise, it would seem very strange.

An Arizona man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for distributing anabolic steroids over the Internet.

Forty-year-old Brian Jeffery of Bullhead City appeared in Hartford federal court on Thursday.

Authorities say that on two occasions, an undercover FBI agent exchanged e-mails with Jeffery, placed orders for the anabolic steroids dianabol and testonogen and received the steroids in the mail.

Prosecutors say Jeffery admitted that he bought raw steroid powder from suppliers in China and converted it into forms that could be injected and taken by mouth. They say he sold at least 10,000 units of anabolic steroids from March through June of last year.

Jeffery has been detained since his arrest last September.

Monday 14, Jul 2008

  DEA proposes easier online prescription for anabolic steroids and other drugs

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DEA-steroidsThe Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) endorsement of easier online access of restrictive medications such as anabolic steroids and other scheduled drugs raised some criticisms from several sectors.

A Wall Street Journal article identifies those at the receiving (and quite) lucrative end. These are the same companies that lobbied or supported the proposal; and, thus, it invites the question “Quid pro quo?”

“The merger of RxHub and SureScripts unites what are otherwise fierce competitors to a common goal. RxHub is backed by pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, which administer prescription drug benefits for employers and health plans, and typically dispense drugs through mail-order pharmacies, the direct competitors of the retail outlets, such as Walgreen Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., represented by SureScripts. Wieland, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, says both parties stand to gain financially. Enabling physicians to prescribe based on the drugs covered under a patient’s health plan will help to drive formulary compliance, important to PBMs and insurers, while pharmacies can save time and money through fewer calls to physicians’ offices, he says.”

DEA is quick to defend its proposal, saying the rationale behind such controversial proposal is not motivated by financial considerations but solely by the need to monitor diversion of controlled drugs like steroids for non-medical purposes.

Many ask if this proposal, which would allow physicians to digitally prescribe steroids and other drugs to patients, could make the leeway wider for the abuse of these drugs.

It would not, answers the DEA.

According to DEA, it would actually help the agency in curtailing the non-medical use of these drugs. The agency says that on DEA registrants are permitted to dispense electronic prescriptions – i.e. sign and authorize controlled substance prescriptions. The systems will also ensure that the prescription record cannot be tampered with, or if any tampering or alteration is done it can be detected.

The DEA is the federal government’s arm in enforcing controlled substance laws and regulations in the US. One of its important functions is bringing to justice key members of organizations that contribute to trafficking of steroids and other illicit drugs, both in the domestic and international markets.

In September 25, 2007, DEA carried out what was considered to be the most massive steroid investigation in US history. Dubbed as Operation: Raw Deal, the investigation In total, 11.4 million steroid dosage units were seized, as well as 242 kilograms of raw steroid powder from China.

Friday 06, Jun 2008

  Two sentenced for steroids distribution

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steroidsTwo men have meted out sentencing due to illegal sale of anabolic steroids in the state of Philadelphia on May 20.

Thomas Keightly, 26, of Quentin, Lebanon County pleaded guilty for conspiracy to manufacture, possess, and distribute steroids. He faces eight months in federal prison. He was accused of shipping around 20,000 and 40,000 doses of steroids between the periods of 2005 to 2007.

The other defendant was James Hornback, 35, of Louisville, Ky., who also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids. He was placed under probation for three years and fined S2, 000. Hornback will spend the first six months of the probation period in home confinement.

Although the two men have never met, they were both connected with Christopher “Moot” Van Horn of Kansas City, Mo. Van Horn is reportedly the head of a steroids distribution ring. According to prosecutors, Van Horn manufactured and sold anabolic steroids from a lab inside his home. Van Horn was also indicted September last year and is now facing federal charges in Scranton.

Keightly and Hornback were sentenced in separate proceedings by Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie. According to Times-Tribune, their arrests were the result of a two-year probe by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and several other federal agencies named as “Operation Raw Deal.” DEA considered the sting as the “largest steroid enforcement action in U.S. history.”

On its website, DEA states that through the operation “143 federal search warrants were executed on targets nationwide, resulting in 124 arrests and the seizure of 56 steroid labs across the United States. In total, 11.4 million steroid dosage units were seized, as well as 242 kilograms of raw steroid powder of Chinese origin. As part of Operation Raw Deal, $6.5 million was also seized, as well as 25 vehicles, 3 boats, 27 pill presses, and 71 weapons.”

Thursday 15, May 2008

  Another Officer ‘Down’ Due to Steroids

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police-steroidsThe expanding federal probe on steroid use in Tennessee law enforcement has resulted to another head roll. This time around it is Officer Charles Cakora’s.

Hendersonville Chief Terry Frizzell has confirmed to the media that he fired Cakora due to steroid use. He came to a decision when the Drug Enforcement Agency paid him a visit Thursday. Cakora was said to be involved in purchase of ‘substantial amount of steroids’ in the months of November and December in 2007. Information was leaked to a news network that Cakora bought the steroids from Scott Haines, a personal trainer at the Nashville Athletic Club.

Haines was arrested February 19 this year for manufacturing and distributing anabolic steroids. Apparently, Haines was the steroid conduit for many police officers from around Tennessee who worked out at the Nashville Athletic Club.

As the investigation continues, it looks like all roads – and ‘roids – lead to Haines, including the one taken by Cakora. Before Cakora’s firing, three other Metro police officers have been already suspended on February 29. Officers Mike Evans, Danny Cage and Stephen Reece are on “administrative assignment” with pay and required to be at home from the work hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to police spokesperson. All three officers were also connected with Haines.

Also, a police officer from Murfreesboro has already suffered the same fate as did Cakora. Officer Phillip Hatcher was also fired due to his implication with the steroid probe. Still many other officers are currently under investigation due to this scandal.

Moreover, the investigation has ‘broadened in scope’ according to a DEA representative and that the probe currently involves several states.

A nutritional supplement store owner, Mark Johnson, is now considered a main suspect in the investigation. One of the suspended Metro officers was a former co-owner of the store and where Haines was also a customer.

As for his fallen officer, Chief Frizzell has this to say: “I think it was very obvious to him and to all of our employees my disappointment in him.”