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September 1, 2015Phoenix, AZ, United StatesContraband

Feds announce joint enforcement effort targeting illegal production and sale of steroids

PHOENIX – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) participated in a nationwide series of enforcement actions led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) targeting every level of the global underground trade in anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Called Operation Cyber Juice, the nationwide enforcement effort, which involved more than 30 U.S. investigations in 20 states, resulted in 90 arrests. Additionally, investigators seized 16 underground steroid labs; 134,000 doses of steroids; 636 kilograms of raw steroid powder; 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid; and more than $2 million in cash and assets.

In Arizona alone, authorities made eight arrests and discovered four underground steroid conversion labs. Local investigators also seized, 55 kilograms of raw steroid powder, 23.8 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid, 16 weapons, and more than $285,000.

Underground steroid labs like the ones uncovered locally are typically stocked with the finished steroid product, raw steroid powder, the chemicals needed to make the conversion, and conversion kits with instructions. These products are commonly obtained over the Internet from Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and underground suppliers.

“This multi-agency collaboration is a testament to the strength in numbers,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “There’s no question our joint efforts will have a huge impact on the distribution of steroids and illegal performance-enhancing drugs in Arizona.”

“The quest for big muscles can mean big business. Criminals will exploit the desires of those seeking an advantage in physical performance or attaining a perfected physical form,” said Doug Coleman, DEA special agent in charge. “The illicit use and abuse of steroids is a dangerous game wrought with serious consequences, both physical and legal. DEA agents will target, investigate, and arrest manufacturers and distributors of steroids and uncover their underground operations.”

Authorities warn there are significant safety risks in buying steroids, chemicals, and other illicit products on the Internet. Many companies involved in these sales are operating illegally both in the U.S. and China. Products are often misrepresented, and their safety is not guaranteed. Federal agents report that many underground steroid labs are extremely unsanitary, with huge quantities of raw materials being mixed in bathtubs and bathroom sinks. 

Operations Cyber Juice focused on both the production and distribution side of the anabolic steroid trade, seeking to identify the chemical suppliers in China and other countries; underground labs in the U.S., Canada and Mexico; U.S.-based websites distributing steroids and related products; and online bodybuilding discussion boards that provide information on how to illicitly use and discreetly purchase performance enhancing drugs. Many of the underground steroids labs targeted in this case advertise and are endorsed on these message boards.

In addition to the DEA and HSI, other agencies participating in Operation Cyber Juice included Europol, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Phoenix Police Department.

For more information regarding the dangers of steroid abuse, please visit and