Two South Bay Area Cases Lead to Arrests in Operation Raw Deal
SEP 25 - (SAN JOSE, CA) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and law enforcement officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service today announced the culmination of Operation Raw Deal, an international investigation targeting the global underground anabolic steroid, human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin growth factor (IGF) markets. The investigation represents the largest steroid enforcement action in U.S. history and took place in conjunction with enforcement operations in 9 countries worldwide. As a result of the South Bay Area investigation, led by the DEA San Jose Resident Office, 5 individuals were arrested on various federal charges. Seized in conjunction with the DEA San Jose investigations were approximately 73 bottles of HGH, 79 vials of steroids, approximately 44 grams of crystal methamphetamine, several types of unlabeled pills, an unknown amount of U.S. Currency, and an indoor marijuana grow containing approximately 15 marijuana plants.
These investigations began approximately two years ago when the Santa Clara Police Department provided the DEA San Jose Resident Office with information relating to the distribution of steroids. In one investigation agents identified Larry POLLOCK, 41, of Southern California, as owner/operator of Stallion Labs, a manufacturer of steroids. According to the criminal complaint filed in the investigation, agents learned that an order for steroids and/or HGH would be placed with Stallion Labs, via the internet. Structured payments were to be received, via wire transfer, and the product would be shipped to the customer. The criminal complaint further details how POLLOCK allegedly purchased chemicals commonly utilized at underground steroid manufacturing sites. In June 2007, an undercover purchase of 66 vials of steroids and 2 bottles of HGH was made from Stallion Labs. Further investigation revealed that Lynda WALLACE, 39, of Southern California, allegedly mailed the package of steroids and HGH purchased in the undercover transaction. Agents believe that POLLOCK provided steroids and/or HGH to multiple states.
On September 16, 2007, POLLOCK and WALLACE were arrested at the Otay Mesa Point of Entry, without incident. POLLOCK and WALLACE were both charged violation of with 21 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Anabolic Steroids. Each POLLOCK and WALLACE made their initial appearance in Federal Court in San Diego on September 18, 2007. POLLOCK and WALLACE have since posted bail. Both are awaiting transfer to the Northern District of California.
“Human Growth Hormone and Steroids are dangerous chemicals with serious and potentially deadly consequences. The only enhancements individuals who distribute these chemicals are concerned about are in their bank accounts,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña. “The side effects of this international operation will be felt throughout the Bay Area, several other states and multiple countries.”
In a separate investigation conducted by the DEA San Jose Office, agents learned that quantities of HGH and steroids were allegedly being sold from Max Muscle Store, located in San Jose. According to the criminal complaint filed in this investigation, agents believe that Brandon TOMLINSON, 44, of Burlingame, an employee of Genentech, was supplying Lance TOMLINSON, 38, of San Jose, with HGH. Lance TOMLINSON has been identified as the owner of Max Muscle Store. The criminal complaint details that during the course of the investigation agents received a bottle labeled Protropin, which was allegedly provided to a source by Lance TOMLINSON. In July 2007, an undercover agent purchased approximately 20 bottles of HGH, from Max Muscle Store in San Jose. According to the criminal complaint, Jeffrey COFFRON, 33, of San Jose, sold the undercover agent the HGH. Analysis received from the FDA Forensic Chemistry Center revealed that the bottle of “Protropin” seized in this investigation tested positive for a specific type of HGH which was only legally manufactured in the United States by Genentech.
On September 20, 2007, Brandon TOMLINSON, Lance TOMLINSON and Jeffrey COFFRON were arrested at their respective residences without incident. Additionally agents seized 50 unmarked bottles of HGH, 13 vials of steroids, approximately 44 grams of crystal methamphetamine, several types of unlabeled pills, an unknown amount of U.S. Currency and a small indoor marijuana grow containing approximately 15 marijuana plants from the residence of Lance TOMLINSON and Jeffrey COFFRON. All individuals appeared in San Jose U.S. District Court on September 20, 2007. Since that time, Brandon TOMLINSON and Jeffrey COFFRON have posted bail. Lance TOMLINSON remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
Brandon TOMLINSON, Lance TOMLINSON and Jeffrey COFFRON are all charged with violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 371 – Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
The maximum statutory penalty for each count against POLLOCK and WALLACE is 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 2 years supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for each count against Brandon TOMLINSON, Lance TOMLINSON and COFFRON is 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 3 years supervised release. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. A complaint contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, POLLOCK, WALLACE, Brandon TOMLINSON, Lance TOMLINSON and COFFRON, must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California in San Jose is prosecuting this case. Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Nedrow is the lead prosecutor assigned to the investigation.
This investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Santa Clara Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service in San Jose and San Diego, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. State Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Sacramento.