November 06, 2018
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (214) 366-6900
Steroid distribution results in four convictions
DEA Oklahoma dismantles steroid distribution network
OKLAHOMA CITY – Four defendants have entered guilty pleas to charges stemming from a steroid-distribution ring, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Between October 3 and November 2, Christopher Thomas Caplinger, 55, of Edmond, Oklahoma; Donald Ray Vincent, Jr., 54, of Edmond; Deborah Ann Crawford, 47, of Oklahoma City; and Michael Brandon Schott, 35, of Newport News, Virginia, have been found guilty of a steroid offense or conspiring to launder the proceeds of that offense, announced Special Agent in Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Caplinger and Vincent have pleaded guilty to both manufacturing steroids and money laundering.
On March 20, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a 23-count indictment against all four defendants. In addition to allegations of illegally conspiring to distribute steroids, a Schedule III controlled substance, the indictment charged distribution of steroids to an undercover officer; manufacturing of steroids; maintaining a drug-involved premises; a conspiracy to commit money laundering; and international money laundering. According to the indictment, Capinger, Vincent, and Crawford concealed the proceeds of their illegal activity by depositing money into bank accounts in the names of third parties and storing bulk cash at residences, including approximately $280,000 buried in Caplinger’s back yard. The indictment alleged that from April 2015 until November 2017, Caplinger rented space at 8201 North Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing steroids. It also alleged that Caplinger and Crawford transferred funds to China to conceal their crimes.
On November 1, U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk accepted Caplinger’s pleas of guilty to manufacturing anabolic steroids and conspiring to launder the proceeds. Caplinger has agreed that his conduct involved at least 60,000 doses of anabolic steroids. He has also agreed to the forfeiture of $287,743 in currency and a $740,000 money judgment. At sentencing, he faces up to 10 years in prison for manufacturing steroids and up to 20 years for conspiring to commit money laundering. He could also be fined up to $500,000 on each count and could be on supervised release for the rest of his life.
The remaining three defendants have also pleaded guilty. On October 3, Vincent admitted in open court that he manufactured anabolic steroids and conspired to commit money laundering. He has agreed to forfeit $99,473 in currency. Crawford entered a guilty plea to the money-laundering conspiracy on October 24. And Schott pleaded guilty on November 2 to conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids. Like Caplinger, each of these defendants faces up to 10 years in prison for a steroid offense and up to 20 years in prison for a money-laundering offense. Each also faces a fine of up to $500,000 on each count of conviction, in addition to supervised release. Sentencings will take place in approximately 90 days.
These convictions are the result of an investigation by the DEA, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Eaton, Kerry Blackburn, and David McCrary are prosecuting the case.
Please refer to public filings for further information.