Steroids sold to high school and college kids

DANBURY — Admitted drug dealer Mark Mansa allegedly sold steroids to a “college athlete” who first bought the substances from him while attending high school, according to a federal court document.

Mark Mansa. Photographed on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. Photo: Jason Rearick / The News-Times

While allegations of steroid sales to high school-aged athletes were made by a federal prosecutor shortly after Mansa, 47, of Bethel, and three other co-defendants were indicted in February 2011, little information about the allegations has surfaced since then.

Mansa, who pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, is expected to be sentenced on the charge in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Friday.

As part of his plea agreement, charges that Mansa sold steroids were dropped.

“Follow-up investigation confirmed that Mansa’s steroid customers included a nationally ranked competitive bodybuilder and a college athlete,” states a sentencing memorandum filed by a federal prosecutor this week. “Both of these individuals admitted that their steroid relationships with Mansa were longstanding.

“Sadly, the college-aged individual admitted that he had first purchased steroids from Mansa while he was in high school,” the document states.

While the memorandum does not identify the student, previous court records have indicated that the bodybuilder is Philip “PJ” Braun, a former Danbury resident who is facing drug possession charges.

Those charges are to be dropped, however, if Braun completes a drug education program that was granted by state court officials in September.

The sentencing memorandum portrays Mansa as a man with “a brazen disregard for the health and safety of the community,” noting that the Bethel resident would often conduct hand-to-hand drug transactions in public venues as part of his daily errands.

The document describes one transaction in which Mansa purchased about 20 pounds of marijuana from a supplier one weekend afternoon in the parking lot of a Danbury area restaurant.

Much of the memorandum is in stark contrast to a similar document filed this week by Mansa’s attorney, Peter Schaffer of Stamford.

In arguing for a 37-month prison sentence, the minimum for which Mansa is eligible, Schaffer argues that his client has been addicted to drugs since 1980, and that his abuse of steroids led to the sales.

The defense document adds that Mansa is a devoted son, a beloved father and “an active volunteer in youth sports in the community.”

Mansa has been involved with local youth sports organizations, including Bethel Youth Football and the Bethel Youth Wrestling Club.

One aspect of the case that is markedly missing from the government’s memorandum were allegations that surfaced early in the case about Mansa’s alleged ties to local law enforcement.

A federal prosecutor stated in open court that Mansa had connections to at least three area police departments that helped him thwart investigators efforts to infiltrate the drug ring.

The newly released document also downplays Mansa’s role in the drug ring.

While previous statements and court documents indicated the Mansa was the leader, the government’s sentencing memorandum states “the record shows an equivalence of authority.”

Brookfield resident Glen Wagner, 49, plead guilty to a conspiracy to distribute marijuana charge in March and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17.

Richard Sciacchetano, 63, a Stuart, Fla., plead guilty to a conspiracy charge in January and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14.

Kevin Lubic, 49, of Salem, NY, the fourth man indicted in the case, is scheduled to go to trial in December.

Mansa is the only member of the drug ring that authorities allege also sold steroids.

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