Craig Johnson, the owner of Top Physique Nutrition and Promotions, was sentenced to six months probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor conspiracy to possess anabolic steroids (a controlled substance) by a Lehigh County Court. Johnson is actively involved in the bodybuilding community having promoted several bodybuilding competitions for the National Physique Committee (NPC) and International Federation of BodyBuilder (IFBB).
Johnson was arrested during the second phase of a state investigation codenamed Operation Roid Runner. Johnson crime was related to his decision to help a friend who had asked him to “hook him up” with some anabolic steroids. Johnson referred the friend to amateur competitive bodybuilder Edward Moyzan. Johnson was not aware of the fact that his friend was a confidential informant (CI) for the government.
Bodybuilding promoter, gym owners and personal trainers who are asked by clients to help them find a local gym source for anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) could open themselves up to conspiracy charges even though they have no direct involvement in the steroid dealing; this type of assistance is not uncommon in the bodybuilding community. Given the widespread use of anabolic steroids in competitive bodybuilding, individuals that cater to this demographic may be at greater risk of scrutiny.
Johnson’s attorney Jason Jenkins explained the trivial nature of his client’s involvement last fall:
“His involvement was nothing,” Jenkins said. “He was charged with criminal conspiracy, which can be anything as small as making a phone call. Johnson didn’t have the intent to commit a crime. In many ways, he saw this as doing a favor for a friend.”
“We’re hoping the government recognizes that this is a mistake that Craig didn’t benefit from, financially or professionally,” he said after the hearing at the Emmaus courtroom. “We hope that with the size and scope of this operation, they would be willing to forgive.”
Operation Roid Runner was launched by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office in 2007. Several amateur bodybuilders and the owners of the underground lab (UGL) called “Pro Lab” were also among the 10 people arrested during the first phase of Operation Roid Runner. However, the second phase of Operation Roid Runner especially targeted the competitive bodybuilding community and resulted in the arrest of IFBB pro bodybuilder Chamberlain, NPC bodybuilder Edward Moyzan and NPC promoter Craig Johnson.
All six people arrested during the second phase of Operation Roid Runner have been sentenced to probation. The sentencing of Johnson to probation represent the end of the second phase of Operation Roid Runner.