Law enforcement in south Arkansas say they've made a major steroids bust, with at 3 arrests so far in a 3-month investigation, including the owner of a Magnolia gym.
Police say a package sent from China containing 411 grams of a powdered form of testosterone was intercepted by Homeland Security agents. Investigators were notified and set up a controlled delivery of the package to the Extreme Fitness Center on North Dudney Street. There, according to the probable cause affidavit for Hines arrest, Magnolia PD Sgt. Michael Caldwell says he observed the package on the desk of the owner, 37-year-old Joshua Hines of Waldo, AR. Sgt. Caldwell says he saw that the package had been opened. The inside packaging thrown in the trash can, and "Inside the package was 411 grams of anabolic steroids."
Sgt. Caldwell says in his statement to investigators, Hines allegedly admitted that the package belonged to him and Robert "Drew" Maza of El Dorado. According to court documents, Hines told investigators that he and Maza would pool their money to order shipments of steroids and then distribute them to numerous individuals. He also said that he had recently decided to start ordering by himself, and that he had found someone to order from in China, wiring money through Western Union at Brookshires and having the packages sent to his house in Waldo or to the gym, or to the home of 40-year-old Candy Drake, who knew the packages were for him if they were from overseas and her name was misspelled.
Hines allegedly told investigators that he would mix the steroids mostly at his house, but sometimes in his Tahoe, and that he had steroids at both his house and at the gym.
Police say they also searched Hines' home, the home of Robert "Drew" Maza, as well as a storage facility in El Dorado.
Among the items seized in those searches:
- 8,000 vials, bottles, pill dosage units of anabolic steroids including testosterone.
- Large quantities of paraphernalia including syringes, packaging, labels and lab equipment.
- 35 firearms including shotguns, rifles and handguns, some of which had suppressors attached.
- $45,000 in cash
- Four vehicles seized
Hines and Maza have been arrested and charged with possession of a schedule III controlled substance with the purpose to deliver, delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, manufacture of a schedule III controlled substance, controlled substance offenses relating to records, maintaining premises, possession of dug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms. Drake was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to possess a schedule III controlled substance with intent to deliver. Both Hines and Maza have been released on bond.
The investigation is ongoing and police more arrests are expected.
Police say the investigation and seizure is believed to be the largest of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone for the entire state of Arkansas.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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