Houston-area man arrested for steroid distribution

Matthew Emilio Montano, 28, is charged with delivery of a controlled substance. He is being held in the Harris County Jail without bond.

Investigators say they arrested Montano after he delivered 56 vials of liquid steroids during a sting at a shopping center in Spring. The arrest was part of an ongoing investigation into an organization that authorities say is manufacturing and distributing illegal steroids at gyms in Montgomery and Harris Counties.

Earlier this year, the same investigation led to a raid on a laboratory in south Montgomery County where authorities reported finding chemicals, glassware, and several pounds of powdered and liquid growth hormones.

Federal authorities have charged Axis Labs LLC of Centennial with a criminal count of mail fraud on allegations it illegally sold mail-order supplements containing anabolic steroids.

Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado charged Axis Labs on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Axis Labs is accused of "being involved" in the making and selling a muscle-building and weight-loss product called Monster Caps, which the company purported was a dietary supplement that didn't need to be prescribed by a doctor.

Monster Caps actually contained undeclared synthetic anabolic steroids and were intended "to affect the structure and function of the human body," which made the product a regulated drug needing Food & Drug Administration approval to be sold, investigators alleged.

"It is critically important that consumers know the contents of what they are consuming," saidJohn Walsh, U.S. Attorney for Colorado, in a press release. "In this case, the product contained synthetic anabolic steroids, and because of its potential for harm, it was a prescription drug that could only be dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription."

An investigation involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found Axis Labs mailed Monster Caps throughout the United States in 2008 and 2009 to customers ordering them over the Internet, authorities allege.

Axis Labs faces a fine of up to $500,000 if convicted on the mail fraud count.

Axis Labs did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

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