Category Archives: customs

Steroids grow in popularity in New Zealand

New Zealand men are taking steroids in growing numbers to get the perfect body.

“These are generally males 20 to 40 who are wanting to look good, rather than elite athletes looking for edge in performance,” Dr Emma Lawrey told the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, in Queenstown on Monday.

Dr Lawrey says the seizure of such drugs coming into New Zealand has increased five-fold since 2008.

“Over the last two years we’ve seen hundreds of packages of performance enhancing drugs picked up annually, over half of which are androgenic anabolic steroids.”

Steroid users increase their risk of heart attack, upper limb tendon rupture and liver.

A recent survey of male gym-goers in Kuwait found 70 percent didn’t believe it was possible to get a good body without using steroids.

Only 18 percent of those surveyed were able to accurately describe the adverse effects of steroid use.

Steroid use on the rise in New Zealand

A New Zealand study showed five out of 32 bodybuilders admitted to using anabolic steroids at some point, and in another New Zealand study of 142 elite-level high school rugby players, only five admitted to use.

However, one in five felt they were at risk to using at some point in their career, she said.

 

Anybody thinking about going on a cycle, do not forget about Post Cycle Therapy!

Pangea VII – coordinated operation strikes at organized crime with seizure of 20 million illicit medicines

A total of 115 countries have taken part in a global operation targeting the criminal networks behind the sale of fake medicines via illicit online pharmacies, resulting in 156 arrests worldwide and the seizure of USD 81 million worth of potentially dangerous medicines.

Operation Pangea VIII was the largest ever Internet-based operation focusing on the illicit sale of medicines and medical devices via the Internet, with the participation of 236 agencies from police, customs and health regulatory authorities. Private partners from the Internet and payment industries also supported the operation, which saw a record number of 20.7 million illicit and counterfeit medicines seized – more than twice the amount confiscated during the 2013 operation.

The action resulted in the launch of 429 investigations, the suspension of 550 online adverts for illicit pharmaceuticals and 2,414 websites taken offline.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey, said: “The MHRA are committed to tackling the illegal trade in medical products and have been working with counterparts across the globe to close down websites and social media sites illegally advertising and selling these products. Criminals involved in the supply of medical products have no interest in your health; it is simply your money they want. Buying medicines from unregulated Internet sites can be risky – you are gambling with your health.”

In addition to interventions on the ground, which included the discovery of an illicit warehouse full of counterfeit and expired medicines in Indonesia, the operation also targeted the main areas exploited by organized crime in the illegal online medicine trade: rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and delivery services.

Operation Pangea VIII was coordinated by INTERPOL, together with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (WGEO), Europol and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), and supported by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and private sector companies including LegitScript, Google, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.

As well as raids at addresses linked to the illicit pharmaceutical websites, some 150,000 packages were inspected by customs and regulatory authorities, of which 50,000 were seized during the international week of action (9 – 16 June).

International collaboration between Canada, France, the UK, the US, INTERPOL and the private sector resulted in the closure of two Internet domain names selling the potentially lethal and illicit diet drug 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP) after one woman died in the UK and a French man was left seriously ill after taking the substance purchased from these sites.

At the request of French authorities, INTERPOL issued an Orange Notice warning about the dangers of DNP, and through Operation Pangea VIII, INTERPOL and the health authorities of Canada and the US convinced the Internet registrar to suspend the two domains known to be selling DNP.

Among the fake and illicit medicines seized during the operation were blood pressure medication, erectile dysfunction pills, cancer medication and nutritional supplements. In the case from Indonesia, authorities uncovered an operation where criminals were altering the expiry date or the amount of the active ingredient on packages of counterfeit, expired and unregistered medicines at the warehouse and returning them to a pharmacy for sale.

“Our efforts to protect the health of patients by preventing the online sale of potentially dangerous illegal medical products will not cease,” said George M. Karavetsos, director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations.

“Operation Pangea VIII provides yet another avenue for the FDA to engage with our international law enforcement partners on these critical issues. We are not only pleased to be a part of this strong international enforcement effort, but resolved to do everything we can to ensure that the global problem of illegal internet drug and device sales is deterred as a result,” he added.

A new focus of the operation this year was on counterfeit medical products. For example, investigations in the US have raised awareness of the growing health risk posed by the use of illicit or mislabeled silicone injections in cosmetic procedures. If used incorrectly, or containing substances other than medical-grade silicone, the injections can cause serious medical complications.

INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “More and more people are using the Internet to purchase everyday items, and criminals are taking advantage of this trend to deceive customers into buying fake and even dangerous medicines and medical products online, with no concern to the health risks this poses.”

“Through strong collaboration between law enforcement, health agencies and Internet and payment companies, INTERPOL’s Operation Pangea VIII has made significant progress in protecting innocent consumers by shutting down illegitimate online pharmacies and seizing illegal and counterfeit pharmaceutical products,” added Mr Morris.

He highlighted a case in the UK where authorities discovered an illegal online pharmacy selling unlicensed medicines obtained from another country. Police and the MHRA raided a premises connected to the website – which was arranged to look like a legal pharmacy – and seized 60,000 units of potentially dangerous medicines worth an estimated USD 2.4 million.

The participation of Google, one of the world’s largest Internet companies, underscored the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector in combating online pharmaceutical crime

“Google has long recognized the importance of working with law enforcement and others to collectively frustrate the business operations of rogue online pharmacies. Our involvement in Operation Pangea is yet another way to make it even harder for rogue actors to harm Internet users,” said Adam Barea, Legal Director at Google.

A dedicated operations centre at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon served as the central hub for information exchange among the participating countries and agencies. From this base, the WCO coordinated activities between participating customs administrations and the Pangea team via its secure messaging system, and a mobile Europol office in Vienna, Austria also conducted cross-checks.

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Sciroxx – Long-Arm of Steroid Law Enforcement Takes Interest

Two men involved in the domestic distribution of Sciroxx-brand anabolic steroids have pleaded guilty in the United States District Court in Providence. Edmond Paolucci and Patrick Cunningham admitted responsibility for importing bulk quantities of steroids and ancillary drugs, repackaging them in retail-size units with the Sciroxx label and shipping them to customers in the United States.

Paolucci received 650-milliliter jugs containing injectable testosterone enanthate, boldenone undecylenate and trenbolone acetate and bulk quantities of oral steroid tablets. He also received prescription ancillary drugs such as Pregnyl (hCG), T3, Arimidex (anastrozole), Teva tamoxifen and Serpafar clomiphene from Turkey and Bulgaria. The steroids were shipped to various postal boxes scattered throughout Rhode Island, Massachusets and Connecticut.

Paolucci and Cunningham maintained an underground laboratory where they repackaged the injectable and oral steroids into retail-sized units branded with the Sciroxx (and Xsorox) label. The oral steroid tablets were distributed in pouches while the injectable steroids were distributed in 10-milliliter vials.

Paolucci was responsible for fulfilling domestic internet orders made via websites that he and his Israeli con-conspirators owned and operated. Paolucci collected money from customers and sent the proceeds to Israel via Western Union and Moneygram using his own and fictitious names.

Western Union and Moneygram gave federal investigators detailed records of transactions totaling in excess of $76,000 sent by Paolucci to Israel.

Paolucci pleaded guilty to the following on November 1, 2012:

one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids (for working with Cunningham and unnamed Israeli co-conspirators);
one count of possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids (for repackaging and remailing Sciroxx-brand steroids);
one count of distribution of a misbranded drug (for distributing non-controlled, non-FDA approved ancillary drugs imported from overseas e.g.as hCG, Clomid, Nolvadex, Arimidex, etc.); and
two counts of money laundering (for wiring proceeds to Israel via Western Union and Moneygram).

Paolucci and Cunningham were busted almost 18 months ago on November 15, 2011. Paolucci pleaded guilty almost five months ago. Cunningham pleaded guilty three days ago. The bust and subsequent plea agreements were not immediately announced to protect the confidentiality of an ongoing criminal investigation.

The scope of the ongoing investigation was not revealed. However, a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island indicated that the federal government worked closely with its international counterparts in Israel during the investigation of the Israeli-based international steroid distribution ring.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, acknowledged the assistance of international counterparts at the Israel Ministry of Health, Division of Enforcement and Inspection, and Jerusalem Customs and VAT who provided significant assistance in the investigation of this matter.

The cooperation with Israeli law enforcement officials provides additional evidence that the long-arm of U.S. steroid law enforcement is becoming increasingly aggressive.

The U.S. government has shown it is more than willing to go after the biggest international sources around the world especially if they have domestic operations within the United States.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) have attempted to disrupt and extradite the major players in the underground steroid trade with varying degrees of success over the past several years.

In 2008, the U.S. government pressured Thailand to arrest Edwin Crawley and Ashley Livingston of British Dragon on steroid charges; they were subsequently extradited to the United States where they were convicted and incarcerated.
In 2010, the feds set up a covert operation with agents on the ground in Cyprus to assist in the arrest of the purported principals behind Musclebear (Euro Chem Labs). Oleksandr “Lsex” Skochyk and Yvgeniy “Eugene” Suray were extradited to the United States where they were convicted and incarcerated. A domestic remailer for Musclebear claimed that the real owner got away.
In 2011, U.S. law enforcement pressured Austria to use their “Einsatzkommando COBRA” counter-terrorism special ops unit to arrest Mihael Karner, the owner of an alleged 40 million euro steroid empire. Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts were confident of a successful extradition. However, Austria foiled their plan when they extradited him to Slovenia after he paid them one million euros!
In 2012, the DEA worked with the Straży Granicznej officials in Poland in an attempt to shut down the Uncle Z (Z-Pharma Labs, Euro-Pharmacies) steroid operation. Two men were detained and 666,000 steroid tablets, 19,000 steroid vials and 5,500 steroid ampoules were confiscated. But there are strong indications that the owner may have eluded authorities.
In 2013, Brian Wainstein (Axio Labs and GenXXL Gear), was finally arrested in South Africa. The Department of Justice is attempting to extradite Wainstein to face multiples counts of steroid distribution in a U.S. court.

The latest Department of Justice press release has acknowledged that it it talking to the Israeli government and asking questions about Sciroxx. What does this mean? Clearly, Sciroxx is on its radar. Is Sciroxx a target in an ongoing investigation? Or do the DEA and FDA-OCI have bigger international fish to fry?

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Steroid Laws in Portugal

Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It’s not the Netherlands.)

Although its capital is notorious among stoners and college kids for marijuana haze–filled “coffee shops,” Holland has never actually legalized cannabis — the Dutch simply don’t enforce their laws against the shops. The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal’s drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal’s new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

 

 

The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to “drug tourists” and exacerbate Portugal’s drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.

The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

“Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success,” says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. “It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does.”

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal’s drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.

Portugal’s case study is of some interest to lawmakers in the U.S., confronted now with the violent overflow of escalating drug gang wars in Mexico. The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world’s harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.

“I think we can learn that we should stop being reflexively opposed when someone else does [decriminalize] and should take seriously the possibility that anti-user enforcement isn’t having much influence on our drug consumption,” says Mark Kleiman, author of the forthcoming When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment and director of the drug policy analysis program at UCLA. Kleiman does not consider Portugal a realistic model for the U.S., however, because of differences in size and culture between the two countries.

But there is a movement afoot in the U.S., in the legislatures of New York State, California and Massachusetts, to reconsider our overly punitive drug laws. Recently, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter proposed that Congress create a national commission, not unlike Portugal’s, to deal with prison reform and overhaul drug-sentencing policy. As Webb noted, the U.S. is home to 5% of the global population but 25% of its prisoners.

At the Cato Institute in early April, Greenwald contended that a major problem with most American drug policy debate is that it’s based on “speculation and fear mongering,” rather than empirical evidence on the effects of more lenient drug policies. In Portugal, the effect was to neutralize what had become the country’s number one public health problem, he says.

“The impact in the life of families and our society is much lower than it was before decriminalization,” says Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual’s “drug czar” and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, adding that police are now able to re-focus on tracking much higher level dealers and larger quantities of drugs.

Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, like Kleiman, is skeptical. He conceded in a presentation at the Cato Institute that “it’s fair to say that decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise.” However, he notes that Portugal is a small country and that the cyclical nature of drug epidemics — which tends to occur no matter what policies are in place — may account for the declines in heroin use and deaths.

The Cato report’s author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, “that is the central concession that will transform the debate.”

Steroid Drug Testing

Sports athletes happen to be examined for steroid use for several years, and lots of happen to be suspended from sports, have needed to quit Olympic medals, or need triggered other sports athletes associated with these to be suspended. Regardless of this, steroid drug abuse among sports athletes is extremely large. Certain national gym chains are recognized for getting in-house staff which will connect body contractors along with other sports athletes to doctors or drug sellers who`ll distribute anabolic steroids. Using anabolic steroids is against the law, but supplying them is a whole lot worse and may cost you a person amount of time in jail. Teens who exercise are frequently offered anabolic steroids to assist them to build muscle faster.

Steroid drugs are created guy-made drugs that are based on male sex the body`s hormones. They get buff and increase male characteristics. Anabolic steroids might be legally supplied by your physician to deal with debilitating illnesses for example Helps along with other illnesses, but they`re not legal unless of course an individual has a prescription on their behalf from the licensed physician. A few of the illegal anabolic steroids that are offered in the pub are really medicine for creatures. Vets frequently prescribe anabolic steroids to build muscle muscle of creatures, and a few of these float to the underground community available. Anabolic steroids might have serious unwanted effects which are irreversible. Some unwanted effects can impact one`s heart, liver, along with other major organs from the body.

If you`re parents of the teen who`s showing signs and symptoms of steroid use, you might want to consider professional testing in a drug testing facility for the teen. You will find also tests available on the web to check for anabolic steroids. These test-at-home kits cost around $140 for any one-time use. Because the unwanted effects of anabolic steroids are extremely severe, it`s certainly well worth the money to possess your child examined if they is obsessive about muscle building, bulking up, working out to extremes, developing flat stomach, or showing aggressive behavior. You will find other signs and symptoms too that the physician let you know. It is crucial to obtain your child help if they has proof of anabolic steroids within the urine before any permanent damage happens.

There`s a reasonably new steroid which was designed to not display in the mandatory drug tests that the majority sports athletes will need to take. This drug is Tetahydrogestirone (THG) and is discovered in 2003. THG has become noticeable in urine samples that Olympic sports athletes will need to take. Certain drug tests that others take will identify this drug too.

Most steroid drug exams are urine-based tests, and they`re frequently needed on the random test basis. Anabolic steroids remain in your body for 14 to thirty days after use, so that they will most likely show up on a steroid drug test. There`s a urine-based test which will test for 12 various steroid drugs. It tests for Testosterone, Methyloxandrolone, Clostebol, along with other anabolic steroids. Typical pre-employment drug screening doesn`t usually show using anabolic steroids because they exams are searching for 5 most generally mistreated drug groups – marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine. If the employer suspects that certain from the company`s employees is mistreating anabolic steroids, the worker might be needed to possess a urine test which will show steroid use.

William Llewellyn is confued (or confusig)

The other day I saw this video of a speech given by William Llewellyn at a satellite meeting of the National Drug Conference held in Cardiff, Wales April 2012. In the Video Llewellyn gives a brief history of the sale, distribution and use of anabolic steroids in sport. The video in itself is quite informative, and some good points are made, anyone interested in Anabolic Steroids should give it a look:

Now this video is swell and I agree with most things said by Llewellyn (especially the part about using safe gear), however, there is this little detail in there which was nagging at me for the last couple of days and I have to point it out – Llewellyn is, deliberately or by mistake, giving us, the audience, mixed opinion on one specific company. I have written some positive articles/posts about Asia Pharma, am really impressed with their gear, and I don’t hide it. Then again I am nobody in the steroid world.

On the other hand William Llewellyn is quite known in the steroid world and his opinion matters. A lot of people actually use his books as some kind of guide to which gear is good and which is not. If he endorses a brand people will buy it, if he says its crap, they wont. So I would really like to know his position on AsiaPharma Pharmaceuticals.

If you watch the Llewellyn peach, you will note that in the first part of the video, where he talks about Legitimate Pharmaceutical Production he is actually using Asia Pharma production pictures. You can find the pics on their webpage or see them in their manufacturing video:

So you would think, Llewellyn thinks AsiaPharma is Good to go, right? amm, no;

As you watch through the video, Llewellyn will start talking about UG labs, how they make products and eventually will show a picture of bunched up products and name couple of companies in the picture which he believes are underground labs. But note, on this picture, AsiaPharma products are shown. He doesn’t name AsiaPharma as an underground lab, but he lets the viewer believe it is UG non the less. Here is a picture (shown at 12:52 in the video):

I believe everybody is entitled to their own opinion on any matter of their choosing. As Llewellyn gives us an opinion on Geneza, Axio, Syntrop, Diamond, DutchLab, EuroChem, one would expect he would have no problem giving us his opinion on AsiaPharma as well. So William, in your opinion, is AsiaPharma a legitimate pharmaceutical manufacturer? Are their products safe (unlike the companies you specifically named in your video)?

Domestic underground lab selling online busted in Omaha, Nebraska

Performance enhancers. You hear the term in reference to professional baseball players, Olympians and most recently, celebrated cyclist Lance Armstrong. But you dont expect one of your neighbors to be dealing in illegal steroids. Omaha police discovered in April that four local residents were players in a steroid ring with origins in China and a drug kingpin in New York.

Local narcotics detectives say they stumbled onto the largest steroid bust of their careers, one involving several hundred thousand dollars of the drug. Christopher J. Bowers, 45, of Omaha, Ryan M. Bowers, 29, of Papillion, Bernard Venditte, 31, of Omaha and Jeanine A. Rowe, 35, of Papillion each was charged with possession of illegal steroids with intent to deliver. The four are accused of acting as delivery agents for large shipments of home-cooked testosterone cocktails. Thousands of vials of illegal steroids were shipped into the Omaha area before and during the months-long investigation, said Omaha Police Sgt. Dave Bianchi. Raw hormones from China were mailed to the drug operations leader in New York. Bianchi said the ringleader turned it into an injectable solution and then bottled, labeled and shipped the toxic product to the Omaha and Papillion home addresses of those arrested. Their job was to repackage and mail the vials to online buyers.

The investigation began in April when a U.S. Postal Service inspector noticed something odd about two packages. Two Express Mail packages with consecutive numbers had been mailed from different post offices in New York. Both were addressed to Christopher Bowers home in Omaha, but the return addresses were for nonexistent businesses in New York, according to court documents. Those were red flags, indicating that drugs likely were in the packages. Police followed the delivery of the packages to Bowers home in midtown and discovered hundreds of vials of testosterone. These steroid cocktails would never be used as legitimate medical treatments, said Omaha narcotics Detective Greg Hamill. The home-brewed anabolic steroids had labels from a fake laboratory called Lexx Labs and were named Sustanon-300, Nandro-100, Masteron-100 and Deca-300. The doses could be up to 100 times higher than those used to treat medical conditions. Hamill called the mixtures ridiculously toxic. I believe some of the drugs would have stayed in Omaha, but we have nothing to indicate that the steroids were pushed on kids or legitimate athletes, Bianchi said. Hamill said the majority of steroid users are men looking to quickly bulk up muscle mass. Steroid abuse has been linked to serious health problems, including liver damage, kidney impairment or failure and enlargement of the heart, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Anabolic steroids fall under the same legal classification as the illegal possession of oxycodone or vicodin. When Bowers was questioned, authorities said, he implicated his nephew, Ryan Bowers. The younger man then indicated to police that a friend, Venditte, had approached him with the opportunity to make some money by repackaging steroids sent from New York, court documents state. Police said the supplier likely had used an online message board to approach one of the Omaha-area residents, who had purchased and personally used steroids in the past. More steroids were found in Vendittes west Omaha apartment, and then detectives uncovered Rowes connection to Venditte and yet more steroids.  This was the largest steroid arrest I have been involved with in 20 years, Bianchi said.

During the investigation, officers confiscated 4,430 vials, each containing 10 doses of illegal anabolic steroids. Also collected were 3,763 grams or more than eight pounds of raw hormone materials that originated in China, Bianchi said. Hamill estimated that an $800 investment in raw materials from China plus some basic lab equipment could turn into a $20,000 to $30,000 profit. Ryan and Christopher Bowers, Venditte and Rowe were meant to be paid for each repackaged set of steroids that was sent to an online purchaser, Bianchi said.

Once the four local residents were charged, the Omaha police narcotics unit, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and New York law officers built a case against the ringleader, Nicholas Cangiano, 34. Cangiano was indicted in May in U.S. District Court in Nebraska on two counts: conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids, and distribution of steroids. The four local people arrested have been released from jail on bail, and their cases are set for trial in Douglas County District Court. The felony charge against them carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $25,000 fine or both.

Christopher Bowers, a veteran air traffic controller at Eppley Airfield, had never been charged with a crime before in Nebraska or federal court, according to court documents. The Federal Aviation Administration said he has been suspended from his job pending the outcome of the case. Rowe had a similarly clean record. Ryan Bowers and Venditte had not been previously charged with a drug-related crime in Nebraska. The attorney for the Bowers men and Rowes lawyer declined to comment. Calls to Vendittes attorney were not returned.

Operation Pangea V

Interpol and the World Customs Organisation have spearheaded an international effort to shut down internet websites suspected of illegally selling anabolic steroids, erectile dysfunctions medications and diet pills. The crackdown occurred between September 25th and October 2, 2012.

The operation was codenamed Pangea V and involved over eighty countries around the world including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United Kingdoms Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Australias Customs and Border Protection and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Over 20,000 illicit pharmacies have been shut down, as well as seizure of over 3,002,000 medicines. Over 80 investigations [are] ongoing and 70 persons [were] arrested, according to Aline Plançon, Interpols anti-pharmaceutical crime chief.

Organized criminals are definitely part of these illicit sales online and they are transnational people, well organized over the continents.

Only seventy people were arrested worldwide. Customs agents seized 133,000 packages containing over 3 million doses of unlicensed pills worldwide. But the big news involved the number of websites that were shut down and the methods the government used to take control of the domains.

Approximately 18,000 internet pharmacies were taken offline as a result of Operation Pangea V. Only a small percentage of the internet pharmacies specialized in the sale of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone (hGH) and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Most of the websites involved sold a variety of medications including antibiotics, antidepressants, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes medications.

The websites were shutdown after government regulators contacted domain registrars and/or payment processors rather than taking legal action against the operators of such websites.

In the United States, the FDA sent warning letters directly to the internet pharmacies. Then the FDA contacted the internet service providers hosting the websites. And finally they contacted domain name registrars in order to take possession of the domain names.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) together with the U.S. Department of Justice seized a total of 686 websites accused of selling illegal medications such as steroids. The domain name seizures were part of a broader program called Operation In Our Sites.

Australias TGA worked with a domain name registrar in Brisbane to seize over 120 domain names associated with international internet pharmacies.

Civil liberties groups have been highly critical of the federal governments domain seizure initiative. They have accused the government of ignoring due process and first amendment rights of internet domain owners.

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Small-Time Steroid Dealer Gets Three Years in Prison

An Oklahoma man who claimed to have manufactured anabolic steroids only for his own personal use and that of his friends was sentenced to 37 months in prison. John Isaac Hudelson pleaded guilty to two charges related to the importation and the manufacture of anabolic steroids in June 2012. United States District Judge Claire Eagan granted Hudelson a downward departure from the recommended sentencing guidelines which called for 46 to 57 months imprisonment.

Hudelson was caught when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials detected one kilogram of raw testosterone powder in San Francisco on January 3, 2012. The steroid powder arrived from China and was destined to Hudelsons home address.

Law enforcement officials in Oklahoma arranged a “controlled delivery” to Hudelson s home where they executed a search warrant. A total of 1,697 grams of steroid powder (including testosterone powder) and 889 milliliters of injectable steroids and orally-active liquid steroids were seized.

Attorney Stephen Greubel, the public defender representing Hudelson, argued in a presentencing report that Hudelson manufactured the steroids solely for his own personal use and the personal use of like-minded friends who were involved in bodybuilding and strongman competitions. An investigation conducted by law enforcement determined that the number of individuals receiving steroids from Hudelson was fifteen.

While the recommended sentencing guidelines may seem harsh, they took into account a previous felony drug conviction. The conviction was the result of substance abuse issues experienced by Hudelson while he was a teenager in college.

Greubel asked the court for a downward departure or non-guideline sentence for his client. The court accommodated his request to some degree. But the sentence still seems harsh given that much bigger steroid dealers have gotten off with much less including probation in some cases.

The Assistant United States Attorney Janet Reincke justified the sentence as needed to send a message to other bodybuilders who dont appreciate the illegality of steroid use for physique enhancement.

Anabolics – The beginning of end?

The buzz of the week is – IP was arrested. The real IP, the original IP, the MAN. Well, we at least we now know who the man is. IP AKA International Pharmaceuticals is, or shall we say was, one of the most notorious sources of Anabolic Steroids to Bodybuilders and the increasing number of recreational Steroids (ab)users. Especially well known in German speaking countries of Central Europe IP was in business for more than 20 year, in which time he was supplying Anabolic Steroids worldwide. Whatever your personal experience or opinion of IP, the fact is yet another major player in steroid community was arrested. After the the Axxio bust it will greatly affect the scene (basic economic principle says more competition means better quality and lower prices; in UG AS scene it generally just means lower prices…). You can read more about IP bust on SBCs blog found by clicking this text.

Now while you are checking SBC’s blog, you might as well check the main blog when all articles are listed (lazy click here) – and take a look at recent posts. At the time of this writing (Feb 4th) 8 out of 10 posts are about steroid related busts, one is about a steroid dealers being shot, and one is actually about positive affects of hormones. Check earlier posts and you will note that it is the same – arrests and busts all over. This is NOT criticism of SBC in any way, I’m just using SoreButtCheeks blog as it is a good reference to see what is happening in the AS world. If you check the boards bust is the main topic as well (beside the usual advertising BS).

Even news from China, the AS kingdom, is bad. Unconfirmed rumors have it that Chinese authorities have arrested seven individuals responsible for unauthorized manufacture of Human Growth Hormone. Supposedly legitimate Chinese manufacturers were sick of their illegitimate competition and reported them to the authorities. It is said that this accounts for ALL manufacture of proper but unlicensed HGH from china and the prices are about to go sky-high while the quality will go down. Unresponsiveness of some major sellers gives credence to these rumors. Even worse, steroid raw material suppliers in China may have also been compromised. So expect prices of UGs to go up as well, and quality will deteriorate even further.

The first thought that comes to (my) mind is Total Criminalization of Anabolics all over the world. Let’s face it – the people arrested so far were small time adventurers who wanted to make some money, no real harm done. Even when there were “teritory” disputes it all accumulated to harsh words (on anonymous boards) and really THE WORST action one could take was a series of DDOS attacks. Child’s play in comparison to what is coming.

I don’t know why, but Anabolics are now very high on LE agenda. I don’t follow drug related news so closely but in my mind it seems that there are now more steroid-related busts than there are drugrelated busts. Considering in most countries Steroids are scheduled way lower than drugs, this is weird to say the least. Usually things go both ways and as LE is treating Steroid handlers more and more like common drug dealers, the more Steroid dealers will start becoming like drug dealers.

One would think that authorities would learn from history, but no… Prohibition is a good example of how criminalization of a substance has more negative effects than positive ones (not that there are many positive ones) and I fear prosecution of steroids will only worsen the situation. Quality will go down even more as UGs will move to even dirtier locations, there will be more health related risks due to poor quality and even Steroid-(or rather infection)-related deaths will be more common. Worse of all, prices and profits consequently will increase to the point when organized crime will really take over – which will bring turf related fights and killings. I might be exaggerating a bit, than again, remember that ONE blog post about steroid-related shooting? World as we know it is changing.

What I really wonder is what have Steroids done to deserve this? Anyone who knows the subject can explain that there really are no negative aspects to steroids. They do change ones life, but it is for the better. Conspiracy theorist say that CIA controls most drug trafficking in the world and most of the drugs arrests are simply getting rid of the competition. So is there some conspiracy related to steroids? The answer is fear!

I believe that the Government is afraid of BBB (Big Bad Bodybuilder). As Arnold and co have shown us, there is nothing that BBB can’t do. One might have even become president if it wasn’t for a small Constitutional matter of the place of birth. That got the Government afraid! People look up to BBB as a natural leader, BBB gets primal supremacy and respect, people want to be BBB, there are more and more BBB; and in case the crisis gets worse and people rebel (akhm, Egypt like), who better to lead than the BBB?! Solution? No steroids, no BBB!

Obviously I’m no conspiracy theorists and I hope my pathetic attempt to raise your spirits at least brought a smile – the rest is unfortunately all too real.

PS: In case you are still unconvinced of what I’m writing about checkout the cool HBO series Boardwalk Empire – Transformation from petty booze-running business to hardcore criminal organization in 10 hours…