Another bust


Four people were arrested Wednesday morning in an alleged steroid trafficking ring that stretched from Hong Kong, China to Southern New England, according to federal prosecutors.

Investigators seized some 143,000 pills and 3400 vials of liquid steroid from a North Attleboro stash house, NBC 10 News learned, as well as five vehicles and eight bank accounts. Steroid transactions involved both cash and Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency.

"This is a serious case," said Magistrate Lincoln Almond, who arraigned all four suspects late Wednesday afternoon in federal court. "Hopefully it [the steroid operation] has been shut down."

At the center of the case is David Esser, 46, of North Attleboro, who was described in court as the "head" of the alleged steroid trafficking operation that stretched back to at least 2015. Esser allegedly paid the three other defendants in the case to process, package and ship the steroids as part of his illicit business.

Co-defendants Alison Shephard, 41, who investigators said is Esser's ex-wife, James McLaughlin, 34, who is Shephard's fiance and the father of her young son, and Mason Nieves, 27, of Providence, all allegedly worked as employees of Esser's drug trafficking operation. Shephard, McLaughlin and Nieves were all released on $10,000 unsecured bond.

Magistrate Almond noted Nieves has what he called "lengthy criminal history" and warned the young man that the federal drug case "is going to be a whole different game. It's time to grow up and smarten up."

Court documents reveal that Esser was allegedly well aware he was being investigated following a 2015 visit from agents with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

"One of the most troubling aspects is that he was visited by investigating agents in 2015," Magistrate Almond said during Esser's arraignment, yet Esser allegedly continued to illegally sell and distribute the drugs for another five years.

According to the affidavit unsealed late Wednesday, Esser paid McLaughlin and Shephard to send the steroids from post offices in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Esser allegedly used a bodybuilding website called Brotherhood of Pain to advertise and sell steroid under the name The Goldline. The agent who wrote the affidavit made an undercover purchase of steroid using cryptocurrency via the website.

The affidavit also claims Esser bought multiple properties in Pennsylvania with the illegal proceeds, something Magistrate Almond raised during his arraignment.

"We don't know much about Mr. Esser right now," Almond said, noting that Esser told probation officers he makes $10,000 per month from managing various properties, but did not disclose his online business or any assets that may be held in Bitcoin.

Almond ordered Esser released on $50,000 unsecured bond, pending a further review of his finances, but also ordered the defendant to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet in the meantime.

"I frankly don't think you'll be stupid enough to flee," Magistrate Almond told Esser. "If you want to take your chances, take your chances, but I don't think they're very good," he warned.

Esser pushed past an NBC 10 reporter outside the courthouse after his arraignment, and said he had no comment.


South Africa's really cracking down it seems. Wasn't gear legal in Africa to begin with?
There legal there if you buy script. But manufacturers are gonna get the mystery meat on a moldy piece of bread lol.
I think USA and Canada are the only two places that hate test. Probably because of Olympic games when the Russians where using tbol and America cried about it....

Sponsored Links