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Section IV -- "Personal Page" : Bodybuilders experiences.

Welcome to this months edition of the Personal Page. The following is a true story and an unfortunate one. I really felt for the person who wrote this. God bless him. But, not all experiences in our endeavors are happy ones. Be careful! This story also tells me that the need for the Underground to be a secure list server, is greater than we can imagine.

Part 1 BUSTED IN OHIO

The October newsletter contained some good tips and tricks for ordering, getting your gear through customs safely, etc.. I wish I'd had this information about three years ago. My story begins in early 1994. I'd been using steroids on and off for a few years by that time. I was paying through the nose for everything and never knew what would be available when I was ready to buy again. And of course there was always the occasional rip off - pretty much the same thing that's happening today. I was trying my damnedest to hook up with a reliable and reasonably priced source for quite a while. Then I remembered reading the infamous "Undercover in Tijuana" article in Muscle Media 2000 a few months earlier. I decided to quit screwing around and make my own connections, so I dug the magazine out and simply called all the pharmacies that were mentioned in the article. They all seemed willing to sell me the "anabolicos" I wanted. All I had to do was come in and pick them up. However, one in particular (Farmacia D'Lux) would sell me anything I wanted, in any quantity, AND take it across the border (for a small additional fee of course).

So my wife and I made a trip to Tijuana sometime in March that year. After a fair amount of aggravation and haggling, which they love to do in Mexico for some reason, we made a rather large purchase. We paid half the agreed upon price and headed back to our motel in San Ysidro, California. The farmacia manager's brother-in-law followed us with the gear stashed in his car. When we arrived at the motel we paid him the other half. We got the stuff home to Ohio without incident and everything was cool. I live in a very small town in Ohio. My partner and I owned a gym there that we ran more as a hobby than a business. The word got out that I had a connection. I began to get requests from people I knew well and trusted, so I figured "no problem." I made a phone call to my new friend in Tijuana. We came up with a plan where I would phone my orders in to the pharmacy in Tijuana; he would take the gear across the border and mail it to me from California. This arrangement worked out perfectly and I should have left well enough alone. Of course I didn't.

I met this guy (I'll call him Anthony - cause that's the little bastard's name). He worked at the health food store where I bought my supplements at the time. Over the next couple months we began talking about steroids and eventually shared Mexico stories. He had also made a trip to Tijuana earlier that year. I eventually told him that I had a mail order source there, but that I thought some of the products were suspect. He felt the same way and told me that he knew some guys who had a European source. They were getting good shit and just about everything we ever read or heard about was available. I bought some A-50s and Deca from him (two of the items my Mexican friend had been ripping me off on). I got good results from these products and decided that I wanted to get hooked up with his sources so we made a deal. I'd order Sostenon, Spiropent, Primobolan, and other items we both knew were legit from Mexico and he'd order the Anadrol-50, Deca, Testoviron and the like from Europe. He was 21 years old and still living at home with his parents so he asked if he could have his orders shipped to my house.

I reluctantly agreed to become partners with him, but decided it would be better to open a PO box. He agreed - all he wanted was a place to have his stuff delivered. We split the cost of the PO box but I opened it in my name (yeah, I know - DUMB ASS!). The address was supposed to be "Central Ohio Life Extension," and that's the name we agreed to use on all packages - but the box was rented in my name. I went in one day to pick up my package from Mexico/ California and there was a package there for him so I picked it up also. To my amazement it was addressed to me - not "Central Ohio Life Extension," not "Anthony ------", it had my ....in' name right on the front of it. I was pissed about that and discussed it with him. He agreed not to put my name on the packages from then on and said he'd use the name we had agreed to. I noticed that his package came from O.L. Skouvara & Co. in Greece. I later found out that he was also using B. Mougious & Co.. After giving the incident some thought I realized this bastard was setting me up to take the fall if anything went wrong. I had never been really comfortable with the situation. So I decided to close the PO box after my next shipment arrived, open a new box somewhere else by myself, and just stick with my Mexican connection. By this time I knew which products not to buy from Mexico and I would simply stick with the stuff I knew was good.

It was Thursday, December 22, 1994; the last work day before Christmas for me that year. We got off work at noon that day and I had just finished my monthly chiropractor appointment. I left the chiropractor's office about one o'clock feeling pretty damn good after a much needed adjustment and looking forward to being off for the next week or so and spending the holidays with my family. Traffic was heavy and I was moving along pretty slowly, headed back to work to pick up my things and wish everyone a Merry Christmas before going home. I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed a cop car following me. I didn't really think anything of it until he kicked on his lights. "Couldn't be for me" I thought, "I know I haven't done anything wrong." I looked in my mirror again. He was motioning for me to pull over. There was no good place to get off the road so I just pulled up next to the curb and stopped, blocking a lane of traffic. This was about a mile from where I worked, so anyone could have been driving by at the time.

When the cop walked up to my car I handed him my license and registration. He looked at it and signaled to someone in a car stopped right behind his. I looked in my mirror again and saw at least five or six guys in plain clothes getting out of three vehicles that were sitting behind the police car. My heart stopped, then began pounding out of my chest. I knew this was about the steroids and all I could think of was - "I'M ....ED!". One of the plain clothes guys came up to the car and asked me to step out. When I did he turned me around, leaned me over the trunk of the car and handcuffed me. As he began emptying the contents of my pockets and patting me down, he told me who he was. I wasn't focusing too well at the time - DEA, Postal Authorities, even the FBI were all there I think. Anyway, he was one of them and they were arresting me for "using the US Mail to illegally import Schedule III controlled substances" or something like that. The actual arrest complaint reads: ".....Complainant, being duly sworn, states that the above named person (me), at -------- County/ --------, Ohio, on or about the 22nd. Day of December, 1994 did: knowingly possess a controlled substance included in Schedule III. To wit: Testosterone in an amount exceeding the bulk amount. To wit: 6 unit doses in violation of Section 2925.03 A4....."

They set me in the back seat of the police car. The cop got on the radio and in the course of his conversation with whomever he was talking to I figured out that Anthony had gone to the PO box to pick up one of his packages (mine wasn't due in till the next day). They busted him and everybody was waiting for us to meet them at the Mail Boxes, Etc. where we had the box. When we pulled into the parking lot I could see a patty wagon and five or six more plain clothes cop-looking guys standing around. I remember thinking "and I was gonna close this PO box up tomorrow." One of the plain clothes men at the scene approached me with a package in his hand and explained that it was seized after being picked up at my PO box. He told me the package was flagged by customs at the port of entry in New York. Upon inspection they found it contained illegal drugs (steroids). Customs notified the DEA and they decided to send the package on to its destination and bust whoever picked it up. I looked at the package and guess what - it had MY name on it. The agent read me my rights and asked me if I had anything to say. I politely told him that I wasn't going to say anything until I had a lawyer.

When they opened the back door of the patty wagon I saw my "friend" Anthony sitting there with cuffs on. He couldn't look me in the eye as I got in and sat down next to him. Needless to say there was a little tension between us. We both knew that he had planned for this inevitability from the start and here we were, busted and all the evidence pointed to me (what a coincidence). While we were enroute to the county jail several things were happening elsewhere. The feds were simultaneously impounding my car, kicking in the front door to my house, and closing down my gym. The day that started out so well had just turned to shit in a hurry. I spent a pretty uneventful night in jail with other alleged felons like crack dealers, armed robbers, and yes even a guy who had shot his girl friend in the face that morning. I'm 5'11" and weighed 245 lb. at 7.2% body fat at the time, so no one ....ed with me. It's a good thing they couldn't see that on the inside I was feeling like a scared little kid who thought his life was over.

The next morning at the bail hearing I found out that Anthony "had no idea what was in the package, he was just picking it up for me as a favor". He was released on his own recognizance and told not to leave town. That day I posted $5,000.00 bail (cost me $500.00 to the bail bond agent) and gave a lawyer a $5,000.00 retainer to represent me. I don't know about you but that kind of money is hard for me to come up with - especially two days before Christmas. When I got home I found out that the feds had seized my personal stash of about $800.00 worth of gear. Not to mention terrifying the hell out of my wife and two of my daughters who were home at the time. Fortunately we were renting the house or they could have seized that too. The gym was clean so they didn't seize my gym equipment either. My car was also clean so I managed to get that back too - after paying another $150.00 or so to get it released from impound. Of course the order that I was expecting from Mexico the next day (another $400.00) was also seized, which I'm sure created problems for my contact there.

I have absolutely no clue why, but so far there has been no trial (the bust happened almost three years ago). I have never been formally questioned by any law enforcement agency either. I can only hope that my case fell in a crack or maybe the evidence mysteriously disappeared, who knows. My lawyer suggests we not try to find out and I agree with him. Although it appears nothing may ever come of this legally, let me just quickly list for you the things that have happened in my life in the past three years since the bust:

I suffered a long period of depression and anxiety (waiting for the other shoe to drop - still waiting)
I eventually gave up my interest in the gym
I stopped training for over two years (couldn't focus or concentrate)
I went through a long period of drug rehab (so I'd have it on record for when and if my trial comes up)
I was hospitalized with bleeding ulcers (a problem I've had before, but they had not flared up for years)
I retired early from the job I had for 28 years (partly because I wanted to, but I was afraid that if I was convicted of a felony and did some time I'd get fired and lose my pension)
my federal income tax returns for the past five years were audited recently, resulting in my owing enough additional taxes to force me into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (could be a coincidence but I don't think so).

This is a pretty high price to pay for just wanting to live a lifestyle that is so foreign to most people it's considered a crime. I haven't seen Anthony since we parted company at the bail hearing.

Interpret this story any way you like. I'm not trying to encourage or discourage anyone from buying, selling or using performance enhancing drugs. That's your choice. It certainly has made me a lot more cautious and secretive about my activities in this area. I guess the real moral of this story is - BE CAREFUL!!! Getting busted will .... your life up for a very long time. I'm finally getting my shit together and have started training seriously again. It feels great to be back in the gym and I'm beginning to make some real progress. I have no doubt that I can surpass my previous best condition, even though I'm 53 years old now. Hell, I've been training on and off nearly all my life and I didn't reach my peak till I was 50! There's no reason to lie down now. I'm back to stay and I'm just pissed off enough to succeed.

Live life "LARGE" - no make that "XXXL"

Thanks to Brian and Tazzy for allowing me to contribute to the newsletter.....
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