April 18, 2014
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5609
Underground Steroid Distribution Ring Busted Raw Steroid Materials From China; 11 Search Warrants; Cash, Bank Accounts And Weapons Seized
PHOENIX - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman today announcedthe culmination of "Operation Bad Mussels", a 15-month investigation targeting an illegal anabolic steroid distribution ring that led to the indictment of eight individuals and 11 federal search warrants: five in Surprise, AZ, three in Omaha, NE, two in Melbourne, FL, and one in Franklin, TN. The investigation represents one of the largest steroid enforcement actions in Arizona and took place in conjunction with enforcement operations in various other states.
On April 17, 2014, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies conducted simultaneous arrest and search warrants on suspected members of the illegal steroid ring and their residences in AZ and other states including a Fitness Center in Surprise, AZ. The DEA also conducted two consent searches on two storage facilities in Surprise, AZ. During the raids, agents seized over 110 pounds of anabolic steroids, multiple packages of raw powder from China, hundreds of filled vials of anabolic steroids, various size capsules, encapsulating machines, authentic-looking pharmaceutical labels, computers, and over $150,000 in U.S. currency. Also seized were a shotgun and a handgun, various bank accounts, a residence, and nine vehicles.
In January 2013, the DEA Tactical Diversion (TDS) initiated an investigation of an "underground pharmaceutical operation" led by Blaine Radke in Surprise, Ariz., who supplied anabolic steroids to hundreds of customers throughout the United States using forums and blogs on steroid bodybuilding internet websites to conduct his illegal enterprise. Radke is also the owner of Desired Physiques Fitness Center in Surprise, AZ.
During the course of the investigation, agents identified other members of the ring who assisted in the production and delivery of steroids, the receipt of multiple parcels containing raw steroid materials from China and the collection of bulk currency and wire transfers from the organization's customer base.
Using his "underground" e-mail address, Radke instructed steroid users to send cash to pay for their steroid orders concealed in magazines and birthday cards to Post Office boxes controlled by organizational members.
Those indicted were Blaine Jared Radke aka: Ronnie Coleman, 39, of Surprise, (head of the organization); Ismael Gonzalez aka: Mike Gonzalez, 44, of Surprise, AZ; Joshua Ryan Leno, 33, of Omaha, NE; Duane Lee McGill, 52, of Charlotte, MI; Gregory Alexander Chambers, 45, of Franklin, TN; Chad Vincent Desjarlais, 41, of Melbourne, FL; Kanisha Nichelle Stewart, 24, of Surprise, AZ and Dena Jo Olsen, 43, of Surprise, AZ.
Both Blaine Radke and Gregroy Chambers were arrested on April 17, 2014. The remaining individuals were charged and summoned to appear in federal court at a later date.
On April 6, 2014, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a 10 count indictment against Blaine Jared Radke and seven other members of the ring.
The indictment charges are as follows:
21 U.S.C. § 846
(Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances)
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (b)(1)(E)
(Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances) Counts 2-9
18 U.S.C. § 1956(h)
(Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments) Count 10
21 U.S.C. § 853 and 18 U.S.C. § 982
Forfeiture Allegations 21 USC
The investigative efforts in "Operation Bad Mussels" were led by DEA's Tactical Diversion (TDS) with assistance from the United States Postal Inspector's (USPIS), the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security (HSI), Mesa Police (MPD), Surprise Police (SPD) and its SWAT Team, the National Drug Intelligence Center Document and Media (DOMEX) and the Franklin Police Department in Franklin, TN. Assistance was also provided by the DEA Atlanta Field Division, the St. Louis Field Division, and the Miami Field Division.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference on guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone that are abused in an attempt to promote muscle growth, enhance athletic or other physical performance, and improve physical appearance. Testosterone, nandrolone, stanozolol, methandienone, and boldenone are some of the most frequently abused steroids.