Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > Podcasts > Episode 81: Operation Raw Deal – DEA Special Agent, Robert Harkins
September 12, 2022
Episode 81: Operation Raw Deal – DEA Special Agent, Robert Harkins

The ALL ME® Podcast

Operation Raw Deal – Robert Harkins

During our ALL ME Assembly Programs, one of the things we educate on is where Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances are coming from. Many people are surprised to learn that a majority of substances such as Anabolic Steroids that are being used outside of proper medical guidance are being made on the black market. Raw materials are sourced overseas and often being mixed with oil in various unsanitary underground “labs” throughout the continent. Because of this, we wanted to make an episode not only talking about this issue, but learning about the world of those trying to shut down this illegal process. That is why in this episode we talk with forger DEA special agent Robert Harkins. Robert was a part of the biggest the largest performance enhancing drug crackdown effort in U.S. history-Operation Raw Deal.

Operation Raw Deal was an 18-month effort that targeted the raw material producers of these drugs as well as those producing and selling the final product. It produced 124 arrests in 27 states and closed down 56 labs. It identified 37 Chinese laboratories producing the raw material and seized $6.5 million and 532 pounds of raw steroid materials. With Robert being a part of this operation, he is going to tell us all about what went into it, including his role, the operation that actually sparked raw deal, the process of identifying and following the targets, and what those busts looked and felt like. He will also tell us about his path to the DEA and how prevalent he thinks this problem still is.

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