Cincinnati Women Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Helping Fiance Sell Steroids

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Jessica Howard of Cincinnati was sentenced to five year in prison for her role as an accomplice in drug ring that trafficked anabolic steroids. Her attorney Frank Schiavone, Jr. claimed that Howard had no involvement whatsoever in the steroid ring. He argued that Howard’s only crime was being engaged to the real mastermind of the operation.

“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.”

However, her fiancee Matthew Geraci was the prosecution’s star witness. Geraci testified about the specific roles that Howard had in the steroid business.

Howard’s sentence of five years in prison proved that illegally selling anabolic steroids that are scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act can have serious legal ramifications.

While her involvement in a business that generated $250,000 in annual sales resulted in a harsh prison sentence, supplement manufacturers and executives who are involved in illegally selling synthetic anabolic steroids (that are not legally classified as controlled substances) can sell millions of dollars per year and still avoid prison entirely by paying a fine.

The pharmacological difference between the drugs may be insignificant. But the same can not be said for how the substances are legally defined.

Even among 23 co-defendants in the “Operation Bulk-Up” anabolic steroid investigation, Howard is the only one that has been sentenced to prison thus far. Most of the other co-defendants have been sentenced to probation.

However, Howard was the only defendant who took her chances at trial. All other co-defendants avoided trial by pleading guilty or receiving intervention in lieu of pleading guilty. The harshest sentence prior to Howard’s 5 years imprisonment was 3 years probation.

The decision turned out to be costly for Howard. She was found guilty on two counts of drug trafficking and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity involving anabolic steroids between June 2010 and July 2011.

The “Operation Bulk-Up” anabolic steroid investigation was spearheaded by the Warren County Drug Task Force. The two-year undercover investigation that centered on steroid distribution at the Countryside YMCA in Lebanon.

Howard’s fiance has yet to go to trial. Matthew Geraci faces thirty counts involving steroid trafficking, steroid possession and corrupt activity. Geraci was identified as a secondary ringleader in the steroid distribution ring.

 Countryside YMCA


WLWT. (April 9, 2012). Woman Gets 5 Years In Steroid Case. Retrieved from http://www.wlwt.com/news/30861304/detail.html