2009 NPC Mr. Ohio Sentenced to Sixty Days in Jail for Steroids

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The winner of the 2009 NPC Mr. Ohio Bodybuilding Championships was sentenced to sixty days in jail after being convicted of multiple anabolic steroid distribution charges. Super-heavyweight champion Drew “Big Country” Smith was caught up in the aftermath of the “Operation Bulk-Up” steroid investigation. Smith was one of thirteen people who were sentenced to jail (or prison) for steroid-related crimes. He was the last of the defendants to be sentenced in “Operation Bulk-Up”.

Major John Burke, the commander of the Warren County Drug Task Force, was the force behind “Operation Bulk Up”. The task force was created to investigate reports of steroid sales at the Countryside YMCA in Lebanon (Ohio). Thirty-two people were arrested who were linked to a steroid ring that involved the YMCA and other local gyms. Smith was not indicted as a participant in the original conspiracy.

Investigators followed up on leads to other bodybuilders who were independently involved in the distribution of steroids. Several additional names came up during the initial two-year case. One of these leads ultimately led to surveillance of Smith. Law enforcement officers set up multiple controlled purchases from Smith between November 15, 2011 through January 2012. Smith was subsequently indicted by a Warren County grand jury earlier this year.

A grand jury indicated Smith on eighteen counts of anabolic steroid trafficking and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Smith only pleaded guilty to eight counts in an agreement with prosecutors. Judge Robert Peeler sentenced him to 60 days in jail on November 7, 2012.

Assistant Prosecutor Andy Sievers explained that Smith was not one of the main targets of the investigation. His sentenced was indicative of the smaller scale of his crimes.

By comparison, Ronald Herbort, the main ringleader, and Matthew Geraci, his primary distributor, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to five and three years in prison, respectively. (Jessica Howard, the fiance of Geraci, maintained her innocence and pursued a jury trial. Howard was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison after Geraci testified against her.)

The sixty day jail sentence is clearly setback in Smith’s quest for a pro card in the sport of bodybuilding. Prior to his steroid-related arrest, Smith had been “focusing on going Pro in 2012” according to his Twitter profile. Once he serves his sentence, will we see Smith make an attempt at the pro ranks in 2013?


Callahan, D. (November 7, 2012). Ex-Mr. Ohio final steroid ring member sentenced. Retrieved from