Three sent to prison for illegal steroid sales in Nebraska and Iowa

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An investigation into sales of illegal steroids in Nebraska and Iowa covered three years and took authorities from China to Omaha to Iowa, a Drug Enforcement Agency official said.

The probe resulted in federal prison sentences for Jeffrey B. Lackas of Bettendorf, Iowa; Stanley Szeto of Iowa City; and Daniel Cruz-Bonilla of Fontana, California.

Lackas, 31, was sentenced in July to three years and 10 months of incarceration; Szeto, 39, received a sentence of two years and a month; and Cruz-Bonilla, 30, was ordered to serve three years and five months.

The three men were members of a drug trafficking organization that distributed steroids and human-growth hormone across the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

“The conspirators offered steroids, human growth hormone and certain pharmaceuticals over the Internet,” said Darin T. Thimmesch, the assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s Omaha office. “(Steroids were) sold to both users and drug dealers across the United States, including recipients in Nebraska, near Omaha, and in Iowa.”

The drug traffickers imported raw steroids from China, Thimmesch said. They brewed and bottled them in Iowa, sold them via the Internet and shipped them all over the U.S. under the name Brinkkmann Pharma.

The investigation determined that from 2011 to 2014, the conspirators collected at least $459,352 in drug payments from more than 200 U.S.-based customers. The actual sales could be much higher.

The conspirators brewed steroids in the Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa, areas as well as in Iowa City, Thimmesch said. They bottled the drugs at a member’s home.

Omaha World Herald, 8/14/2017

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