Alabama pharmacists charged with illegally dispensing steroids

January 26, 2009

Three pharmacy owners and four pharmacists were among 12 people recently indicted for participating in a conspiracy that dispensed and sold thousands of dosages of anabolic steroids ? including powerful veterinary steroids approved for animal use only ? to users throughout the United States.

Three pharmacy owners and four pharmacists were among 12 people recently indicted for participating in a conspiracy that dispensed and sold thousands of doses of anabolic steroids - including powerful veterinary steroids approved for animal use only - to users throughout the United States.

The 198-count indictment, announced by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and U.S. Attorney’s Office, alleges that pharmacists at Applied Pharmacy Services, Inc. (APS), a compounding pharmacy in Mobile, Ala., illegally dispensed the steroids and other drugs to doctors and steroid dealers in Arizona, California, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere.

The indictment also alleges that these drugs were unlawfully distributed to hundreds of users in nearly every state across the nation, including teenagers and individuals under 21. The indictment also charges several of the defendants with money laundering and seeks the forfeiture of $4 million in drug proceeds and eight pieces of real property.

U. S. Attorney Deborah Rhodes said, “Each of the pharmacy owners and pharmacists named in the indictment are charged with prescribing and selling veterinary steroids, approved for cattle and livestock only, to humans. We will continue to work with the DEA, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and the Alabama Board of Pharmacy to ensure that medical professionals who abuse their position of trust are held accountable.”

The indictment charges A. Samuel Kelley II, Jason R. Kelley, Jodi C. Silvio, J. Michael Bennett, Robin K. Kelly, J. Mallory Mallon, Roger A. Everett, Brett W. Branch, Ronald E. Winter, James A. Abernathy, Daniel C. Riedel, and Jesse S. Haggard with various drug and money-laundering charges.

According to allegations in the indictment, doctors prescribed steroids to users, either directly or through a steroid dealer. The pharmacists and owners of APS filled the prescriptions.

The drug conspiracy and distribution counts carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count charging drug distribution to a person under the age of 21 carries a minimum penalty of one year and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

The money-laundering counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Five steroid dealers are also charged in the indictment. Six alleged co-conspirators have pleaded guilty as part of this investigation.