Texas Cracking Down on Steroid-Using Bodybuilders “Wanting to Cheat the System”

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The head of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is working to stop the flow of anabolic steroids to bodybuilders “wanting to cheat the system.” Bodybuilders who use steroids are apparently not only breaking the law but are also immoral cheaters according to Lt. Phillip Cash. The term “cheater” is usually applied to athletes involved in competitive sports who use performance-enhancing drugs in violation of the sport’s anti-doping code; they cheat the other athletes who presumably follow the rules. Yet bodybuilders who use steroids outside of a sporting context in order to improve physical appearance aren’t really “cheating” anyone else. Nonetheless, Lt. Cash asserts they are cheating “the system”.

The Special Investigations Unit led by Lt. Cash made another arrest in an ongoing investigation targeting steroid distribution in and around the North Houston suburb of The Woodlands. A SWAT team was dispatched to execute a search warrant at the apartment of a target  and “known assoiciate of other targets” in the steroid investigation. James Harnett was arrested and charged with the possession of anabolic steroids in a drug-free zone because his apartment building was located within 1000 feet of the Paddington British Private School.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office seized approximately 50 grams of injectable testosterone in multi-use vials along with several empty vials. Local media reported that “counterfeit pharmaceutical labels” were also seized but the labels likely belonged to an unidentified underground lab (UGL). Lt. Cash estimated the street value of the steroid seizure amounted to several thousand dollars.

Earlier this month, SIU arrested another “key player” involved with the Texas-based underground lab after he sold 56 vials of steroids to an undercover police officer. Authorities alleged that he was linked to the same underground lab that they had been investigating since last year.

In November 2010, the SIU seized $100,000 worth of anabolic steroids from the UGL. The UGL was reportedly popular among bodybuilders at various Houst0n-area gyms.

Authorities have suggested that all three seizures are related in some manner.

Lt. Cash has requested the assistance of parents of local high school and college students to identity additional steroid dealers selling steroids in gyms located in Montgomery and Harris counties.

Montgomery County Sheriff SIU


Flake, N. (September 24, 2011). SIU arrests South County man in steroid drug ring. Retrieved from