Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Huge steroid ring busted in Dallas
July 7, 2014
Huge steroid ring busted in Dallas

Federal authorities have broken up a Dallas-based steroid ring, arresting 11 men, including some weightlifters and bodybuilders, court documents show. The charges in the nine-count indictment against the men include conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), heroin and cocaine; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Many documents remain sealed or otherwise unavailable in the case, which was filed in March. Davilyn Walston, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Texas, said the defendants are accused of making several different types of steroids and selling them. The steroids weren’t being produced for their own use, she said. The last big North Texas steroids investigation, which was based out of Plano, led to the convictions in 2008 of seven men and one woman. They included three amateur bodybuilders who said they used the performance-enhancing drug for competitions. The network’s ringleader, David Jacobs, said he sold steroids to bodybuilders, NFL players and police officers. The defendants received probation. Jacobs later killed himself after fatally shooting his girlfriend. Most recently, steroid usage became an issue for the Arlington Police Department after one officer who used the drug was accused of selling it to other officers. He was sentenced in February to prison time. In the current case, one of the men has pleaded guilty to a related marijuana charge. A second defendant, Bryan Higginbotham, has reached a plea deal with the government on a steroids dealing charge, prosecutors said in court documents. Higginbotham is a former bodybuilder and trainer, said his attorney, Todd Shapiro. He said many of those who bought steroids have similar interests. “The body building community is not really enormous. You get to know the people you work out with and train with,” Shapiro said. “I think it’s a pretty tight community.” Prosecutors said in court records that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s investigation identified Jonathan Ryan Stubbs, 38, of Dallas as the operator of the North Texas steroid “distribution cell.” Stubbs, who has entered bodybuilding contests, has a criminal record that includes convictions for drug dealing and assault. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids. Last year, the U.S. attorney’s office filed a forfeiture suit to keep a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette and a 2009 Cadillac Escalade that federal agents seized from Stubbs. Stubbs bought the Corvette with drug money and used the Escalade as part of his illegal drug business, according to the lawsuit. Investigators watched in 2012 as Stubbs arrived at a Garland home in the sport utility vehicle to deliver lab equipment, the lawsuit said. When agents searched Stubbs’ Rowlett home, they found 2,600 grams of steroid powder in the Escalade. On the same day, investigators executed search warrants at other locations and found large amounts of steroids and “dismantled one operational steroid lab” along with another that wasn’t in use, records show. Cooperating witnesses told agents that Stubbs has been selling illegal steroids since about 2000, the forfeiture lawsuit said. One of the defendants, Cyrus Gharib, 38, is a felon who has a lengthy criminal record that includes drug dealing and assault. He was sentenced in 2002 to six and a half years in federal prison for selling the drugecstasy, according to court records. His lawyer said in court documents in 2009 that his client became involved in bodybuilding after his release from prison. “It helped him live a healthier lifestyle and focus his attention on more positive activities,” the lawyer wrote in response to the government’s successful efforts to revoke his probation for violations. In the Arlington police case, former Officer Thomas Kantzos was sentenced in February to one year and one day in federal prison for improperly using a department computer to help tip off his steroids dealer. The 17-year veteran of the department was arrested last June. He was convicted of looking up names or license plates in a law enforcement database at the request of his drug supplier. Federal authorities also have said Kantzos bought anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs for him and other officers. Another officer, David Vo, 35, fatally shot himself after his arrest in connection with the case. A third officer, Craig Hermans, 34, resigned in August while on administrative leave after authorities said he was linked to the investigation. Lt. Christopher Cook of the Arlington Police Department said he was not aware of any current investigations into steroid use at his department. He said the department has strengthened its random drug and alcohol testing policy. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20140706-authorities-say-11-arrested-after-dallas-based-steroid-ring-is-broken-up.ece