One of the most prominent UGLs (underground labs) in the business was recently busted by a taskforce comprising of both local and federal agents in the state of Florida. The UGL was being run out of a trailer park, and specifically, a mobile home. The three residents arrested and charged with the crime were importing, exporting, and manufacturing illegal steroid compounds outside of their mobile home, and they were indicted by a grand jury in September of 2017.
The UGL was named Future Pharma, and it was headed by its ring-leader, Ryan Sikora. He along with John Joseph Bush the Second and Ariel Murphy were in charge of the UGL, and they were doing most of their direct sales via the Steroid Talk section of Reddit, a very prominent online community where users, sellers, and curious parties regarding illegal steroids tend to hang out and discuss compounds with one another. After making contacts with prospective buyers on the Reddit board, they would then send customers a direct link to their website, future pharma shop.com. From there, they could make purchases and send payment.
As far as the products available, they were selling all sorts of derivatives of Trenbolone, Dianabol, Testosterone, and a myriad of other substances, and they were being sold for very affordable prices, making their products very appealing to the newcomers that might be curious to try them. But prosecutors were more concerned with their generic versions of Viagra, Cialis, Accutane, and Clomid. They were basically making bootleg copies of these drugs and selling them for a considerable profit. This is a major problem because they were making counterfeits to the drugs where companies already held exclusive rights to manufacture, thereby violating the rules of the agreement set forth internationally.
The specific tradecraft that was used to nab the perpetrators is classified at this time, but it’s suspected that investigators first got a lead when they intercepted a handful of packages from USPS. Upon opening the packages, they contained over a kilo each of raw steroid powder. This powder is often further refined by UGL’s or other chemists to creates specific steroid compounds. The members of the drug ring were moving the powder from Alabama to the Florida panhandle, where they bought a mobile home just for the purpose of using it as a drug lab.
The operation consisted of a task force that involved the federal agents, officers from the Washington County Sheriff’s office, and from the Chipley Police Department. Together, they worked to track, find, and apprehend the subjects and shut down the operation permanently. They were also able to seize large quantities of illegal steroids. On March 9, 2017, they found almost 50,000 steroid pills alone in the lab, over 3,000 injectable vials of steroids, and over a kilogram of raw steroid powder.
All three of the subjects that were apprehended and will receive their final sentencing on January of 2018, but it’s most likely that they are not going to get major charges considering all of them plead guilty to the charges.