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Contraband
01/31/2014

Dallas man arrested on federal drug and counterfeiting charges to remain in federal custody

He was found with anabolic steroids and a counterfeit federal law enforcement badge

DALLAS — A Dallas man – who is charged in a federal complaint with attempting to possess anabolic steroids and falsely making, forging, counterfeiting and altering a U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) seal – was ordered detained in a court hearing Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez.

Nicholas Todd Freed, 39, was arrested this week by a task force officer assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), after it was discovered Freed was claiming packages containing anabolic steroids from a postal center in Dallas. As Freed was being apprehended, law enforcement also observed that he possessed a counterfeit U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) credential and badge. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement.

According to the filed criminal complaint, the investigation began in early this month when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in San Francisco identified a U.S. Postal Service Express Mail parcel, arriving from Singapore, as suspicious. Its contents were identified as Boldenone Undecylenate, an anabolic steroid and Schedule III-controlled substance. CBP seized the parcel, which was addressed to the Deep Ellum Postal Center. HSI in Dallas was notified about the parcel and its contents.

The ensuing investigation determined that the account for the rental box at the postal center was opened with fictitious information, and the box frequently received similar packages. During the investigation, an HSI task force officer on Jan. 28 approached Freed, who was at the postal center to pick up the package. He discovered Freed was carrying a silver-colored USMS badge and apparent counterfeit USMS credentials identifying him as a USMS Chief Inspector. Freed was also carrying a credit-card knife, a handcuff key, and several driver licenses with his photo, but different names on them. In addition, Freed's vehicle had several items on it or in it consistent with an equipped police vehicle, including emergency flashing lights mounted on the grill, siren, rear flashing red tail lights, a spotlight, front push bumper and handcuffs.

During a consensual search at Freed's residence, law enforcement located several computers, laminating materials, blank plastic cards the size of a Texas driver license, pages of magnetic strips for the back of the cards, ink consistent with that of the Texas seal on the license and identification cards. Additional items also found at Freed's residence included the following: a press to laminate the cards, pages with hologram material of official federal and government seals, pages of names and identities used to produce the cards, several computer-related files of identification cards Freed had previously made, head-shot photos on the computer. Law enforcement officers also discovered other materials necessary to manufacture and produce fraudulent government identifications, specifically Texas driver licenses, a picture of a Texas Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker on the computer, Texas identification cards, state school identification cards, military identifications, and a USMS identification card.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. The government has 30 days to present the matter to a federal grand jury for indictment. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The maximum statutory penalty for the offense, as charged, of knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully attempting to possess with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids is 10 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty of the offense, as charged, of falsely making, forging, counterfeiting and altering the seal of a department and agency of the U.S., is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by HSI, CBP, the Balch Springs Police Department and the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Robinson is in charge of the prosecution.