High Bond Set For CEO Caught Up In Illicit Steroid Distribution Case
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A husband and wife caught up in a multi-state investigation into an alleged steroid distribution appeared before a federal judge in Miami on Friday.
Bond was set at $300-thousand for Richard Rodriguez and $50,000 for his wife.
Rodriguez and his wife were reportedly part of a ring which moved tens of millions of dollars worth of illicit steroid supplements. The couple, who have a three-year-old son, have been married for 16 years.
Ten people in all were arrested as part of the investigation, seven were from South Florida.
The charges stem from an undercover investigation into the Miami-based company Wellness Fitness Nutrition, or WFN, according to court documents. Tuesday morning DEA agents raided a Miami gym called Iron Addicts saying it was a shipping facility for the steroid ring. They also raided a lab in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rodriguez, who is founder and CEO of WFN, claims to have been compliant with FDA regulations and licensed to distribute anabolic steroids which are considered a controlled substance.
However, investigators discovered that WFN was not licensed by the DEA to distribute steroids to customers without medical prescriptions and sold it through its website, according to court documents.
DEA agents said they were able to track down the purchase of the raw steroid materials bought by WFN from various companies in China. From there, the raw steroid powder would be shipped to a secret lab in Phoenix, Arizona to be manufactured and later to Miami where it was labeled, packaged and shipped to customers, investigators said.
Agents were able to buy over $30,000 worth of anabolic steroids from WFN, court documents state.
The company also allegedly laundered over a million dollars made from sales of the steroids that was re-invested back into the operation.
At least $10 million was moved in illicit proceeds to various bank accounts connected to WFN, according to investigators.
Those arrested will be tried in New York because that is where the cases were filed. If convicted of the steroid distribution and money laundering charges, they face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
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