The Ukrainians Oleksandr “Musclebear” Skochyk and Yvgeniy “Eugene” Suray have each been sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in United States federal prison. They previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the distribution of anabolic steroids to residents of the United States. “Musclebear” was an international steroid source based in the Ukraine. His organization shipped steroids to both individual customers and domestic remailers located in the U.S. The court outcome represents one of the limited successes in the federal government’s internationalization of its “war on steroids”.
Have you ever wondered why bodybuilders can still find illegal synthetic anabolic steroids and illegal clones of steroids sold illegally as dietary supplements in sports nutrition stores around the country? It may have something to do with the diverted resources. When the FDA is not busy pursuing celebrity athletes in a steroid witch-hunt, they have been busy chasing down international steroid dealers in East Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the world. The FDA may not have the time and resources to enforce existing laws regulating the dietary supplement industry.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) spent a considerable amount of taxpayer money to capture Musclebear and colleague. They lured them out of his “safe haven” in the Ukraine and arranged for him to be in Cyprus. Police in Cyprus arrested the pair and detained them at the request of the United States government on March 17, 2010.
United States Assistant Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton decided to prosecute the pair after a Pennsylvania grand jury indicted them in 2010. The feds succeeded in having Skochyk and Suray extradited to Pittsburgh a few months later where they could be prosecuted in federal court.
The U.S. government has not always succeeded in chasing down international steroid sources. The feds pressured Austrian law enforcement to arrest and detain a steroid source who allegedly masterminded an internet steroid distribution empire that generated revenue of approximately €38 million between 2000 and 2008.
The pursuit promised to be successful early on. Austria bowed to U.S. demands. An Austrian judge had set a date for his extradition to the United States. But ultimately, Mihael Karner was able to pay Austria the amount of €1 million to avoid extradition and gain safe passage to his home country of Slovenia. The action undoubtedly represented a major disappointment for federal prosecutors.
The cases against these international steroid sources have been years in the making. It is unknown how many other international sources have been targeted by the U.S. federal government.
Tribune-Review. (June 21, 2012). Two sentenced for steroid smuggling. Retrieved from http://triblive.com/news/2073104-74/cyprus-prison-suray-according-court-documents-federal-months-sentenced-smuggling