September 22, 2015
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
DEA Busts Steroid Traffickers And Dismantles Laboratories Across The Nation
Arizona efforts part of DEA nationwide Operation Cyber Juice
PHOENIX - DEA officials today announced a nationwide series of enforcement actions targeting every level of the global underground trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the vast majority of which are manufactured and trafficked from underground labs in China.
DEA-led Operation Cyber Juice - comprised of over 30 different U.S. investigations in 20 states, resulted in the seizure of 16 underground steroid labs, 90 arrests, and the seizure of 134,000 steroid dosage units, 636 kilograms of raw steroid powder, 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, over $2 million in cash and assets. In addition, DEA and its partners assisted in foreign steroid investigations coordinated by Europol. Domestic law enforcement partners include DHS Homeland Security (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
In Phoenix, DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman announced the culmination of Operation Cyber Juice operations in Arizona, a result of local enforcement actions targeting underground trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. DEA operations in Phoenix included multiple simultaneously executed search warrants, including a business inside a well-known North Phoenix fitness facility, and were the latest efforts by Phoenix agents in exposing the black market for steroids.
Cyber Juice investigations targeting the Phoenix manufacturers and distributors began in early 2014, with the assistance of local agents from HSI, USPIS, IRS, and the Phoenix Police Department, resulting in the dismantlement of the largest known steroid conversion laboratories by law enforcement in Arizona’s recent history.
“The quest for big muscles can mean big business. Criminals will exploit the desires of those seeking an advantage in physical performance or attaining a perfected physical form,” said Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge, “The illicit use and abuse of steroids is a dangerous game wrought with serious consequences, both physical and legal. DEA agents will target, investigate, and arrest manufacturers and distributors of steroids and uncover their underground operations.”
“This multi-agency collaboration is a testament to the strength in numbers,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “There’s no question our joint efforts will have a huge impact on the distribution of steroids and illegal performance-enhancing drugs in Arizona.”
In Arizona alone, DEA’s Cyber Juice investigations have thus far yielded the seizure of four underground steroid conversion labs, eightarrests, the seizure of nearly 150,000 dosage units of finished product, 121 pounds of raw steroid powder, 23.8 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, $285,955 USC, eight vehicles, and 16 weapons.
Often found in these underground steroid labs are finished steroid product, raw steroid powder, oils needed for steroid conversion to finished product, conversion kits with lab instruction, and other lab equipment. These products are commonly obtained via the internet from Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and underground labs, although the Arizona investigations revealed foreign sources located in Lithuania and Moldova.
There is great danger in buying steroids, chemicals, and other illicit products on the Internet. Many companies operating illegally both in the United States, China, and elsewhere have no regard for product safety and mislabeling is common - both intentional and unintentional. Products are often misrepresented, and their safety is not at all guaranteed. In addition, federal agents report that many of the underground steroid labs seized are extremely unsanitary, further illustrating the danger in buying these products illegally. For example, recent lab seizures uncovered huge amounts of raw materials being mixed in bathtubs and bathroom sinks.
The Phoenix Cyber Juice investigations will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. Defendants in the investigations face multiple counts including, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.