Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Seizure of Illegal Anabolic Steroids & Other Drugs

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 26, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today during a press conference at the Capitol that agents from the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (KBI) seized more than $580,000 worth of Internet drugs including $150,000 in anabolic steroids and ingredients to make steroids. The steroids had been ordered by an illegal Internet pharmacy in Florida and the prescriptions were being filled by Advanced Pharmacy Services LLC at 11003 Bluegrass Parkway in Louisville.

The seizure took place September 15, 2006 at Advanced Pharmacy in Louisville. KBI agents also seized more than 137,000 illegal Internet narcotics, with a conservative estimated street value of $430,000.

“We fully expected to seize narcotic drugs,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “However, we were surprised to find all the ingredients to prepare 150,000 doses of illegal anabolic steroids. Each pill would sell on the streets for as little as $1 and could easily be afforded by an average teenager.”

Currently, there are more than 100 different types of anabolic steroids that have been developed in the United States and each one requires a prescription to be used legally[1]. KBI agents seized steroids and ingredients used in making steroids to be taken orally, injected directly into the muscle or rubbed on the skin in the form of a gel or cream. Attorney General Stumbo expressed concern that many of the illegal anabolic steroids were likely headed straight to the doorsteps of teens across the Commonwealth.

“Studies show that compared to the national average, Kentucky teens have a higher than average incidence of steroid use,[2]” Stumbo added. “Anabolic steroids are no longer just used by competitive bodybuilders and professional athletes. Teenagers and young athletes are using them at alarming rates as a dangerous shortcut to greater athleticism and muscular physiques.”

In a survey this year, The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 18.1% of 8th graders, 29.7% of 10th graders and 39.7% of 12th graders surveyed reported that steroids were “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain.[3] Furthermore, 4.8% of all high school students surveyed in 2005 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported lifetime use of steroid pills or shots without a doctor’s prescription.[4] Teens also reported the most common sources for obtaining steroids for illegal use are Internet purchases and smuggling them into the United States from other countries such as Mexico and European countries. These countries do not require a prescription for the purchase of steroids.[5]

In the days following a recent seizure of illegal Internet drugs from a Kentucky shipping hub, KBI agents learned that narcotics were being supplied from a newly established address in Kentucky. During a surprise inspection of Advanced Pharmacy on September 15, 2006, KBI agents discovered the presence of the illegal narcotics and steroids.

The manager of Advanced Pharmacy, Victor Hugo Ortega, and the pharmacist, Stephen Marshall Webb, were arrested on the scene. Ortega has a pretrial conference on October 9, 2006 in Jefferson District Court. Webb’s preliminary hearing is also scheduled for October 9th in Jefferson District Court.

The KBI seizure of anabolic steroids and ingredients included the following: Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Carboxymethylcellulose, Clomiphene, Cyanocobalamin, Estrone, Fluxymesterone, Liothyronine, Nandrolone Decanoate, Tamoxifen Citrate, Testosterone, Testosterone Propionate and Testosterone Cypionate.

The physical side effects of anabolic steroids include cancer, liver damage, feminizing effects in males, male attributes in females, limb loss, heart disease, heart attacks, physical addiction, HIV/AIDS from sharing needles, stunted growth, impotence, infertility, baldness, pain and difficulty urinating, enlarged prostate, acne, connective tissue injury and elevated cholesterol level. The psychological side effects include “roid rage (uncontrollable aggression), irritability, depression, mood swings, altered libido, psychosis and mental addiction.

“What teens often fail to recognize are the damaging effects of steroids,” said Stumbo. “I encourage parents across the state to talk to their teenagers, particularly those involved in sports, about the physical and psychological effects of these drugs.”

Stumbo said the KBI’s great success in cracking down on Internet pharmacies is aided by partnership with the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, the Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky State Police, the DEA and others.

KBI Internet drug raids have intercepted approximately one million dollars worth of street drugs.

[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse, Research Report: Anabolic Steroid Abuse, April, 2000

[2] “Coordinated School Health Institute Evaluation Final Report, Fall 2001,” The University of Kentucky Center for Prevention Research

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2005, April 2006

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2005, June 2006

[5] Drug Enforcement Administration, Steroid Factsheet