Department of JusticeU.S. Attorney’s OfficeDistrict of Maryland
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWednesday, May 29, 2019
Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges for Illegally Distributing Anabolic Steroids and Other Misbranded Drugs
Admitted Mailing the Drugs from Nevada to Maryland, Knowing that the Drugs Were Misbranded
Greenbelt, Maryland – George Sambuca, age 33, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formerly of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty today to distribution of anabolic steroids and to introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud and mislead.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office.
“Offering U.S. consumers misbranded drugs online is a dangerous practice that places the public at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to protect U.S. consumers by investigating and bringing to justice those who defraud the public and circumvent federal law regarding the approval, manufacture, and distribution of human drugs.”
According to his plea agreement, from September 2016 through June 2017, Sambuca distributed anabolic steroids and other body-enhancing injectable drugs to consumers seeking to enhance their physiques. Sambuca admitted that he knew the anabolic steroids and other drugs that he distributed were misbranded within the meaning of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) because they bore false labeling and lacked adequate directions for use, warnings, and other information such as expiration dates. The anabolic steroids that Sambuca distributed included Testosterone, Nandrolone, Stanozolol, Oxandrolone, and Oxymetholone, all of which are controlled substances.
Sambuca distributed anabolic steroids and other misbranded drugs for a company known as Dynasty Lab, which he knew sought buyers for these products by placing advertisements on bodybuilding websites and online forums, and by sending blast e-mail advertisements to customers.
In September 2016, a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity received an unsolicited e-mail from Dynasty Labs in his “inbox” on a website known for promoting unapproved and misbranded underground drug lab sales. The message from Dynasty Labs promoted a “7 day super sale.” In response, on September 12, 2016, the undercover officer contacted Dynasty Labs via undercover e-mail and received a reply e-mail the same day promoting, among other drugs, Viagra, Cialis, Trestalone, Dihydroboldenone. A subsequent e-mail from Dynasty Labs requested that the undercover officer use a specific e-mail provider for “Security,” and undercover officer thereafter registered an undercover e-mail address at that provider.
On November 1, 2016, the undercover officer sent an e-mail to Dynasty Labs ordering anabolic steroids and other misbranded drugs. Dynasty Labs replied with specific payment instructions, including that the payment be made in cash and be sent through the mail.
The undercover officer made the payment as requested and as a result, on November 14, 2016, Sambuca mailed a package from Nevada to Maryland containing, among other items, seven vials labeled “TEST SUSTANON 350MG” containing Testosterone, and seven vials labeled “DECA DURABOLIN 400MG” containing Nandrolone. The steroids were misbranded within the meaning of the FDCA.
On May 15, 2017, the undercover officer e-mailed Dynasty Labs and ordered numerous anabolic steroids and other drugs. On May 20, 2017, Dynasty Labs replied with specific mailing instructions that directed the undercover officer to send $715 in cash to “Steven Thompson” at an address in Henderson, Nevada. On May 22, 2017, the undercover officer sent the cash as directed.
Sambuca admitted that, as a result, on June 16, 2017, he again mailed a package from Nevada to the undercover officer in Maryland containing, among other things, one ziplock bag of white powder labeled “DBOL 5g” containing Stanozolol, Oxandrolone, and Oxymetholone; one ziplock bag of white powder labeled “CLOMID” containing Stanozolol; and one vial labeled “SUSTANON 350MG/ML . . . 100cc” containing Testosterone. The steroids were misbranded within the meaning of the FDCA.
Sambuca faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for distribution of anabolic steroids, and a maximum of three years in prison for introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for November 15, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Bernstein and Kelly O. Hayes, who are prosecuting the case.