One of the leading chemists for a major underground laboratory has pleaded guilty and prosecutors in the case are recommending a sentence of approximately 15 years in prison, a crime that could cost both men at least a decade behind bars.
Philip Goodwin is the name of the chemist who was in charge of a major anabolic steroid manufacturing ring, these are commonly known as UGLs. He worked for a company called Onyx Pharmaceuticals, commonly known in a lot of circles as Onyx Pharma. He decided to plead guilty in front of a U.S. District Court Judge on the 29th of November.
As far as the specific charges are concerned, he would be charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (anabolic steroids), specifically steroids. He also had to plead guilty to a count of conspiracy to traffic counterfeit narcotics, and there was an additional charge that he faced in terms of intent to distribute those same controlled substances. There was also one more charge related to laundering money.
As far as their public personas are concerned, most people didn’t really know who Goodwin was or his partner, Tyler Bauman. Bauman was really the brains behind the operation in terms of marketing it and putting the company out there, so much so that his online username “Musclehead320” became very popular. Using this virtual avatar, Bauman would interact with customers across communities all over the internet. Using his fake username, Bauman plugged most of his products through various online forums, but a lot was even done via Instagram and other social media sites.
What made their scheme very clever is that when the two men decided to work together and sell, drugs, they decided to do it in a deceptive fashion. Rather than outright n the open saying that they were their own two people, no one else supporting them, they decided to masquerade as if they were a front group for a bigger pharmaceutical company. So they chose the name Onyx Pharmaceuticals, which is coincidentally another major brand of pharmaceuticals, but the only differences are that one was a subsidiary and the other was a completely fraudulent drug operation. By doing this, many customers didn’t even realize they were buying fake gear, but they especially didn’t know that they were buying from a company pretending to be the real Onyx Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Amgen, which is a major company.
For the business itself, Goodwin was in charge of creating, labeling, and packaging all of their steroids. He did it in a secret lab that was hidden inside of his house. Bauman, the “brains” would serve as the social media, sales, and marketing guy, together they would share profits along with a handful of other other conspirators whom they used for other duties.
Goodwin was the last of the six people inducted to plead guilty, and given that both of them were the co-founders, they immediately pled guilty as soon as possible. It’s also important to understand that given that they were trafficking the drugs along with just making them, that is going to carry a lot of other stiff penalties that are separate from simply making the drugs, that’s what makes the counts a lot harsher than they could possibly be. Typically, and depending on the state, steroid trafficking can be a big issue. But given the fact they were selling them all across state lines, they turned it into a federal crime, making things a lot worse.
And although the recommendations for sentencing were finalized, they won’t be physically sentenced in court until the 23rd of January, 2017, and then February 28th, 2018, the sentencing is for Bauman and Goodwin respective.