(WASHINGTON, DC) – DEA officials have announced a nationwide series of enforcement actions targeting every level of the global underground trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the vast majority of which are manufactured and trafficked from underground labs in China.
DEA-led Operation Cyber Juice comprised of over 30 different U.S. investigations in 20 states and resulted in the arrest of over 90 individuals, the seizure of 16 underground steroid labs, approximately 134,000 steroid dosage units, 636 kilograms of raw steroid powder, 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, and over $2 million in U.S. currency and assets.
“Too many young people are ruining their lives and damaging their bodies from steroid abuse,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “Through Operation Cyber Juice, DEA is attacking the global underground steroid market, exposing its danger and lies.”
In addition, DEA and its partners assisted in foreign steroid investigations in four countries coordinated by Europol. Domestic law enforcement partners include the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
In Arizona alone, Operation Cyber Juice investigations yielded the seizure of 4 underground steroid conversion labs, the seizure of nearly 150,000 dosage units of finished product, 121 pounds of raw steroid powder, 22 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, and over $300,000 in U.S. currency and assets.
Often found in these underground steroid labs are finished steroid product, raw steroid powder, oils needed for steroid conversion to a finished product, conversion kits, and other lab equipment. These products are commonly obtained via the internet from Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and underground labs.
“This multi-agency collaboration sends a strong message to those who traffic in illegal and dangerous performance-enhancing drugs,” said Peter T. Edge, executive associate director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). “There’s no question that our joint efforts among HSI, DEA and Interpol targeting a very significant drug distribution network will have a huge impact on the distribution of illegal steroids and other dangerous performance-enhancing drugs in the United States.”
There is great danger in buying steroids, chemicals, and other illicit products on the Internet. Many companies operating illegally both in the United States, China, and elsewhere have no regard for product safety and mislabelling is common – both intentional and unintentional.
Products are often misrepresented, and their safety is not at all guaranteed. In addition, federal agents report that many of the underground steroid labs seized are extremely unsanitary, further illustrating the danger in buying these products illegally.
For example, recent lab seizures uncovered huge amounts of raw materials being mixed in bathtubs and bathroom sinks.
Throughout Operation Cyber Juice, DEA and its law enforcement partners worked closely with both USADA and WADA, receiving actionable intelligence that resulted in many of these investigations. This vision was to utilize law enforcement, anti-doping resources, and intelligence, to assist in furtherance of their respective efforts.
In addition, Europol analysts were collecting information and providing leads to participating countries for further investigation.