Ringleader’s Wife Goes on Trial in “Operation Bulk-Up” Steroid Case

  • Tweet

Jessica Howard will be the first defendant to go on trial from the “Operation Bulk-Up” anabolic steroid investigation in Warren County (Ohio). The investigation was spearheaded by the Warren County Drug Task Force. Thirty-two individuals were arrested as a result of the two-year undercover investigation that centered on steroid distribution at the Countryside YMCA in Lebanon.

Only five of those arrested have chosen to take their cases to trial.  Most have already been sentenced after pleading guilty or receiving intervention in lieu of pleading guilty. All defendants who have been sentenced thus far were fortunate enough to avoid jail time. The most common punishment involve three years of probation and minimal fines.

Howard is scheduled to go on trial on March 22, 2012. She was engaged to the alleged ringleader of the steroid operation. Prosecutors have charged her with trafficking in anabolic steroids and engaging in corrupt activity under Ohio state law.

Frank Schiavone, Jr., the attorney for Howard, proclaimed his client’s innocence. He claimed Howard had no involvement in the operation and her only crime was being engaged to Matthew Geraci. Geraci faces thirty counts involving steroid trafficking, steroid possession and corrupt activity.

“This is one of those cases where, I’m not really sure why she was even indicted, or why they believe she was a vital player in all of this,” Schiavone said. “She said she had no involvement.”

The Warren County Drug Task Force seized an estimated $600,000 worth of anabolic steroids and $300,000 in cash after executing search warrants on the properties of the accused

Ronald Herbort was identified as the man who imported the steroids from a clandestine underground laboratory (UGL) in Tennessee. Matthew Geraci was identified as his primary distributor.

The Tennessee UGL manufactured injectable steroids from raw steroid powders imported from China. The UGL was shut down as a result of “Operation Bulk-Up”.

Howard’s fiancee Geraci operated a seemingly legitimate locker/storage business. Buyers and sellers of steroids used the facility to deposit and swap steroids for cash while avoiding a face-to-face exchange.

 Countryside YMCA


Callahan, D. (March 21, 2012). Trial set to start for defendant in steroid sting. Retrieved from