A federal judge on Friday sentenced a steroids dealer who said he had a plan to kill police officers to five years and one month in prison on federal drug and gun charges.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sentenced Damon Bruce Beshears, 38, according to a plea deal Beshears had reached with prosecutors in August.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Marshall said that he agreed to the deal presented by Beshears’ lawyer in part because Beshears has a history of mental illness — he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital about two months before his arrest in June.
“I talked to the officers who were involved and their impression was he was more of a danger to himself than to them,” Marshall said.
Beshears’ lawyer, Joe Lopez, said his client’s mental health has drastically improved since his arrest.
“The steroids, in combination with the other medication that he takes, I think, just drove him nuts,” Lopez said. “He was a prisoner in his own body.
“I can totally tell now that the steroids are not a part of his life; he’s completely a changed person,” Lopez said.
Police have said Beshears was the biggest steroids dealer busted in Austin in recent years.
He pleaded guilty in August to possession with the intent to distribute steroids, manufacturing anabolic steroids and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
The gun charge carried a mandatory five-year sentence.
Police began investigating Beshears in May after a confidential informant told them Beshears sold large quantities of steroids from his Duval Road apartment, according to a search warrant affidavit.
On June 7, after police detained Beshears in a parking lot outside, they searched his apartment and found almost 5,000 capsules and 240 vials of steroids, which they estimated had a street value of about $55,000.
Police also seized a Norinco MAK-90 semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic 9 mm pistol, ammunition, a gas mask, a ballistic vest and a Kevlar helmet, according to court documents.
After his arrest, Beshears told police that he planned to use the weapons to kill as many officers as possible if his apartment were to be raided, according to the affidavit. That plan also was detailed in a journal entry, police said.
Detective Brian Crissman testified during a pretrial hearing that Beshears recorded in a journal other disturbing thoughts, including “shooting a mother and daughter coming out of a Macy’s store” and “disemboweling his wife and strewing the organs throughout the house.”
Beshears, who worked from 1995 to 2006 as a juvenile corrections officer for the Texas Youth Commission, apologized at his sentencing, Marshall said.
Sparks ordered that Beshears get mental health treatment during his prison term and his five-year postsentence period of supervised release, when he’ll be supervised by a federal probation officer.