EDMONTON – An Edmonton nurse and bodybuilder who worked at CFB Edmonton admitted in court Thursday that she sold illegal steroids to undercover military police investigating her for trafficking.
Helene Bouchard, 49, worked at the base hospital as a civilian, though she previously had a 16-year military career and retired as a captain a decade ago.
In April 2012, members of the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service first received information that Bouchard was selling steroids to soldiers in the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
The investigative service recruited a corporal in the PPCLI who had purchased steroids from Bouchard. That corporal sent her a text message in August 2013 that indicated his friend wanted to start using steroids. She responded and set up a meeting at her office the next day, Crown prosecutor Shaina Leonard told court.
A national Drug Enforcement Team investigator, Sgt. Eric Boivin, posed as the corporal’s friend and contacted Bouchard. They exchanged information about body type, desired effects and cost before Bouchard presented him with several specific drugs, dosages and regimens for him to choose from.
Boivin, in his military uniform, met with Bouchard in the hospital and gave her $520 for steroids banned under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
“During the meeting, Bouchard asked Sgt. Boivin not to tell anyone because she did not want to lose her job,” said an agreed statement of facts presented in court.
“She’s acting as a nurse and dispensing a drug from her office,” Leonard told court. “That’s a breach of trust.”
Bouchard’s lawyer, Benjamin Lotary, said there was no breach of trust because investigators never received any medical care from her.
Boivin later contacted Bouchard to say a friend was interested in buying from her. Bouchard agreed and sold $560 worth of steroids to a second undercover officer.
In September 2013, investigators arrested Bouchard at the Edmonton International Airport as she prepared to fly to Las Vegas. Police seized three vials of banned steroids from her luggage.
On Bouchard’s phone, investigators found a picture of steroid vials sent to a Las Vegas phone number.
“This is what I am going to bring with us,” she had texted along with the photo. “Make sure you delete it after you look at it.”
Lotary told court that Bouchard previously used steroids when she competed in bodybuilding competitions, but has stopped.
Bouchard addressed the court after she pleaded guilty to trafficking and exporting a controlled substance.
“I made a horrible mistake,” she said. “I foolishly did not understand how wrong it was to do this. I foolishly allowed my PTSD to cloud my judgment.”
Lotary told court that Bouchard suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of a military tour in Rwanda.
She no longer works at CFB Edmonton’s hospital. An investigation by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta will conclude after her court case is finished.
Bouchard is scheduled to be sentenced June 6.
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