Steroid raid's fallout reaches into Glynn County

22 Nov.,2022


Raw Steroid Powder

Teresa Stepzinski

BRUNSWICK - Four men facing federal drug charges in South Georgia were caught up in an international investigation targeting anabolic steroid traffickers and clandestine processing labs.

Operation Raw Deal, which lasted 18 months, was the largest anti-steroid law enforcement investigation in U.S. history, federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials said Monday.

A total of 11.4 million doses of steroids and 242 kilograms - about 534 pounds - of raw steroid powder from China were seized nationwide during the investigation spearheaded by the DEA, the FBI and federal Food and Drug Administration agents.

Federal agents seized 56 steroid labs across the nation. In the process, they confiscated $6.5 million in cash, 71 weapons, 27 pill presses, 25 vehicles and three boats during the operation conducted in Georgia and 26 other states, officials said.

Among the 124 people arrested nationwide, four men - David Paul Jack, Brian C. Parker, Joseph Garcia and Jeff Beaty - have been charged since mid-July in Glynn County.

Operation Raw Deal took aim at the illegal steroid industry at every level, from the rogue manufacturers in China to traffickers in the United States selling it over the Internet, often to young adults, DEA Administrator Karen Tandy said in a statement.

"We reveal the truth behind the underground steroid market: dangerous drugs cooked up all too often in filthy conditions with no regard to safety, giving Americans who purchase them the ultimate raw deal," Tandy said.

Parker and Jack pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges last week during separate hearings conducted by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony Alaimo in Brunswick.

Court proceedings are pending for Garcia and Beaty. All four remain jailed without bail, and each of them faces up to 10 years in federal prison and fines up to $250,000.

Those arrests exposed the inner workings of the underground steroid market, where distribution deals are brokered around the clock daily on the Internet through encrypted e-mails and message boards, FBI Special Agent Tony Alig said.

"A lot of these people know each other through their online moniker," Alig said. "They don't know each other personally, but they do business with each other and know each other that way."

Parker and Jack each have admitted in federal court to being importers and distributors of raw Chinese steroids.

Garcia is accused of setting up and handling the financial transactions for the steroid deals. Beaty is accused of being a "remailer," who coordinates the steroid shipments and payments, Alig said.

Alig said the investigation revealed the illegal steroid market operates as follows:

Raw steroid material is imported from manufacturers or supplies in China. It is processed in secret labs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The finished product is marketed over the Internet via encrypted e-mails and message boards. Kits and instructions for people to convert raw steroids into finished product also are marketed at U.S.-based Web sites.