U.S. v. Mr. T (DMC No.14567) – Federal Felony Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering ($175,000), Felony Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (5kg of Steroids/383,000 Dosage Units), Felony Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Substance, and Related Forfeiture Issues – Reduced to 1 Count Conspiracy with Intent to Distribute Steroids with Probation and 7 Months of Incarceration and Forfeiture Amount Reduced from $175,000 to $25,000 – United States District Court, District of Arizona (Case No. CR-15-01044-002-PHX-DLR).
Investigators in Phoenix became aware of seizures of packages at the Port of Entry in San Francisco, which were destined for Phoenix and contained both anabolic steroids and synthetic male hormones. One package contained 400 tablets of counterfeit Cialis, and 200 tablets of counterfeit Viagra. Although they are not controlled substances, they are frequently used in conjunction with anabolic steroids to counter impotency.
An investigation unwound in which Mr. T and his co-defendant were seen on a weekly basis traveling to a commercial warehouse in Phoenix. They would then go to various post offices and postal stores to mail parcels to destinations outside of Arizona. The Agents confirmed that the packages contained anabolic steroids and other controlled substances. Investigators also discovered that Mr. T and the co-defendant would travel to multiple Safeway stores and Fry’s stores that advertised Western Union services. They would do multiple wire transfers for $925. Any Western Union money transfer over $999 requires identification. By keeping the number under $999, they were able to avoid detection per that requirement.
During the investigations with the Postal Inspectors, they discovered that over a three-year period Mr. T had sent wire transfers to Israel and China totaling more than $75,000. Other wire transfers were discovered and eventually an arrest warrant was issued. Mr. T was found to be holding $25,000 in cash, over 300,000 dosage units of steroids, and multiple pieces of equipment for manufacturing steroids from analog chemical components. Agents seized approximately $125,000 of Mr. T’s cash, along with a Toyota Prius.
We became involved in the case and began working with the Assistant U.S. Attorney and the investigating Agents. Mr. T demonstrated a complete acceptance of responsibility through cooperation with Agents, whereby they were provided information on sources of steroids that come in from different countries including Israel, Turkey, Moldovia, Bosnia, and China. Ultimately, the Assistant US Attorney agreed to extend an offer which included 1 year in prison.
Mr. T was ultimately charged with Felony Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, per 18 U.S.C. 1956(h); Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance – 5kg of Steroids/383,000 Dosage Units, per 21 U.S.C. 846; Felony Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances, per 21 U.S.C. 963; and a Forfeiture Action was filed regarding $175,00 in cash and a Toyota Prius, per 18 U.S.C. 981, 21 U.S.C 853 and 881, and 28 U.S.C. 2461(c). At the time of Sentencing, we were able to present significant mitigation to the Judge and have the sentence reduced to a mere 7 months. In addition, at the Forfeiture Proceedings involving this case, the amount was reduced from $175,000 down to $25,000, thereby saving Mr. T approximately $150,000 of his money. Potentially, Mr. T could have spent well over a decade in prison if there had been no mitigation and cooperation proffered in his case.