Vermont Cocaine Dealer Blames Steroids for His Actions

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The attorney for the largest drug kingpin in Vermont history blames anabolic steroids for his client’s actions. Michael Olsen pleaded guilty to seven counts involving cocaine distribution, money laundering, and illegally obtaining telephone records. Olsen faces life in prison after distributing over 50 kilograms of cocaine and laundering proceeds through Rizzo Brothers auto detailing business in South Burlington, Vermont.

Federal prosecutors have not accused Olsen of selling and/or using anabolic steroids. However, Olsen’s attorney has invoked the “dumbbell defense” blaming anabolic steroids for contributing to his client’s actions.

His lawyer has argued for a lesser term of 11 years, saying Olsen’s rough upbringing and steroid use contributed to his actions and that Olsen has taken responsibility since his arrest.

It is unclear how anabolic steroids may have contributed the day-to-day business of a large-scale cocaine dealer.

Perhaps anabolic steroids were a gateway to other bodybuilding supplements such as creatine monohydrate. Olsen allegedly cut his cocaine with creatine monohydrate according to his partner in crime who testified against him.

Bullock, however, testified that he relied on Olsen to front him cocaine to sell and did not know for a long time that Olsen or people under his direction were cutting the cocaine with creatine powder, a muscle-building substance, before sharing it with him and others.

Perhaps anabolic steroids contributed to the “tough-guy reputation” described by federal prosecutors in which intimidation and assault were allegedly used to manage the Vermont cocaine empire.

Olsen’s partner in crime also testified that he though Olsen was capable of carrying out a hit using “hired muscle”.

“I believed David Dean when he said he would kill him,” Bullock said. “I have no doubt about that at all. And Michael Olsen, you knew he could find someone else who would do it.”

An employee testified that Olsenwas normally mild-mannered but anabolic steroid use fueled his “roid rage”.

A former employee who sold drugs for Michael Olsen, the alleged kingpin of a major Vermont cocaine ring, testified Friday that Olsen was capable of going into rages after injecting himself with muscle-building steroids but was not a violent man by nature. […]

Daigle said Olsen would lose his temper when he took steroids, describing Olsen’s conduct as ” ‘roid rage.”

“He’d flip out over some small thing,” Daigle said. “I saw him once throw an office chair across the room. But then he’d calm down and apologize for his actions.”

Daigle testified that Olsen never threatened anyone with a gun but described one such incident of so-called roid rage in which Olsen blowtorched a man’s hand.

U.S. District Judge William Sessions III will consider the steroid defense and other testimony before deciding on Olsen’s sentence in early March.


Photo credit: Nightlife Of Revelry / Flickr

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