Many adults that we speak to just can’t figure out where they kids might get their hands on steroids. Â “Steroids are illegal, so law enforcement must be actively working to stop the import and sale of these illegal substances. Â Right?”
Here is but one more in aÂ continuingÂ saga of stories of lawÂ enforcementÂ officials who not only are failing to enforce the law, but are among the ranks of users of these drugs. Â Like so many of the users, they feel the “need” to use these substances to improve themselves and their performance on the job!
Seattle Times staff reporter
After he was beaten up while working as a cop in Tacoma, Sean Patrick Ganley searched the Internet for something to help him feel better and quickly get back on his feet again.
Ganley says he found the answer in an online advertisement for steroids from China with precise steps for U.S. residents to order the illegal drug. He started taking steroids, which he claimed was quite common among fellow law-enforcement officers, and continued even after being hired as an agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Blaine.
On Monday, Ganley, 38, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years of probation for importing human-growth hormone from China.
“I made a big mistake, there’s no sugarcoating it,” Ganley said in court. “I felt that was what I could do to increase my strength. I wish I would have never done it.”
U.S. District Judge James Robart criticized the sentence recommended for Ganley for failing to send a sufficiently strong message to other police officers who might be taking illegal steroids. The judge said he followed the sentence because it was agreed upon by the prosecution, probation officials and the defense.
Tom Rice, assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said that Ganley not only pleaded guilty but also resigned from his job with ICE and will be “banished from other law-enforcement jobs” because of his felony conviction.
Ganley resigned from ICE earlier this year.
John Crowley, his attorney, said Ganley has since moved to the Tri-Cities to live with his father, a retired police officer. The father and son are starting a private security company, Crowley said.
Had Ganley not pleaded guilty, he would have faced up to 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The investigation into Ganley began in April 2008 by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations after customs agents at JFK International Airport in New York discovered human-growth hormone in a package arriving by mail from Beijing. The investigation revealed that Ganley had “surreptitiously sent three wire transfers to China and ordered the steroids using a false telephone number and fictitious address,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In a letter delivered to Judge Robart before sentencing, Ganley wrote that he believed steroids would allow him to get into peak physical shape and keep him safe while working in Tacoma, which he called “the most violent city in the Pacific Northwest.”
“Steroid use was very common within my own police department, as well as neighboring police agencies, so I again mistakenly felt it was ‘no big deal’ to use them,” Ganley wrote.
The prosecution of Ganley was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Washington to avoid a potential conflict of interest because Ganley had worked with federal prosecutors in the Seattle-based Western District of Washington.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.