Virginia man producing dangerous anabolic steroids and masking agents in his basement, selling them on social media, sentenced to prison
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man was sentenced to five years in prison for manufacturing and distributing anabolic steroids and money laundering.
According to court documents, John Russell Kestel, 38, ran an anabolic steroid manufacturing and distribution conspiracy for at least three years. Kestel imported raw steroid powders from China and manufactured them into consumable steroid products in a clandestine laboratory in the basement of his home in Alexandria. In addition to steroid products, Kestel concocted homemade versions of pharmaceutical drugs intended to counter the side effects of long-term steroid abuse.
Kestel then distributed his homemade steroid products through social media sites including Facebook. After confirming the interest of potential clients in a private Facebook group, Kestel would direct them to a password-protected website where they could place orders and make payments.
Kestel utilized an elaborate money laundering scheme to conceal and disguise the nature of the proceeds of his steroid manufacturing and distribution operation. The money laundering scheme involved bank accounts that had been opened by the defendant in a multitude of names, including the names of real people known to the defendant and using their personally identifiable information.
Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Field Division; G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virgini; aKelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation; and Mark S. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Metro Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Trigger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis M. Fitzpatick prosecuted the case.