DEA Leads Global Steroid Takedown Operation
Last week the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the results of Operation Cyber Juice, a global operation targeting the trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Operation Cyber Juice consisted 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,” the DEA release announcing the takedown states.
Domestically, DEA was joined in the investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). The investigation turned up “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” in Arizona alone, according to the DEA.
Many of the products and chemicals used in steroid production are obtained via the internet from Chinese chemical manufacturers or underground labs.
“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.”
“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.”
Abroad, DEA and law enforcement partners assisted with steroid investigations in four countries coordinated by Europol.
“Europol will continue its successful cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the World Anti-Doping Agency to eliminate this crime that spans across the globe and cyberspace,” said Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.
The takedown was well received by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who collaborated on the investigation and are keen to see performance-enhancing drug use curtailed.
"In the global fight against dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, collaboration between anti-doping organizations and law enforcement is vital,” said USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis Tygart. “This joint investigation again demonstrates that we can work together to identify and hold accountable underground steroid suppliers and users who are committing crimes and who may also be cheating clean athletes and sport. The actions taken today will help to ensure that all athletes are safer and any young athletes who are pressured to use these drugs to win in sport are not preyed upon by illegal drug dealers."
“For a long time now, the World Anti-Doping Agency has been concerned about the illegal activity in some countries of underground production and trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. These substances, either as full steroid products or in raw material form, are being produced in unsanitary “underground laboratories” with no concern whatsoever given to the labelling of the products, nor to the health of the end user – quite often the athlete, and worryingly, very often young people. This problem is proliferating globally. It has become a public health issue and therefore requires an international solution through partnerships and collaboration,” said WADA Director General David Howman. “By partnering with USADA and the DEA in this major steroid operation, WADA has been able to prevent potentially harmful steroid substances from getting into the hands of athletes looking for an edge. This is a good example of anti-doping and law enforcement working well together to further their own efforts of reducing doping and protecting public health.”
Posted in General News