DEA Arrests 73 in "Operation Juicy Phruit" Steroid Bust

In August 2006, The Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force initiated Operation“Farmacia de Juicy Phruit”. Those individuals identified during this investigation were part of an international drug trafficking organization involved in the distribution of hundreds of thousands of dosage units of anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, MDMA (ecstasy) and controlled pharmaceutical substances to include; Anabolic steroids, Human Growth Hormones, Hydrocodone, Xanax and Viagra.

In connection with Operation “Farmacia de Juicy Phruit” 51 defendants have been indicted by the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office and 22 defendants have been indicted by the United States Attorney’s Office. A total of 59 defendants have been arrested in connection with Operation “Farmacia de Juicy Phruit”. Arrests have also been made in Georgia, Louisiana, California and Indiana.

Those defendants in state custody face charges to include conspiracy to manufacture or deliver controlled substances and conspiracy to commit delivery of dangerous drugs. If convicted on felony charges each defendant faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Special Agent-in-Charge of the Houston Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Zoran B. Yankovich commented “DEA and its law enforcement counterparts have uncovered an elaborate drug trafficking network involving the importation and distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, and addictive pharmaceutical drugs. We have seen too many times the dangers of steroids, HGH and prescription drug abuse. These drugs are harmful and they ruin lives, families and communities. DEA will continue to work everyday to rid our communities of these harmful poisons and the criminals who sell them.

Those defendants in Federal custody face charges to include money laundering, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to manufacture and possess a controlled substance. If convicted defendants can face up to 5 years in prison and be required to pay up to $250,000.00 in fines. The money laundering charge holds a penalty of up to 25 years in prison and up to $500,000.00 in fines.

This is an ongoing investigation which initially started as a local investigation targeting individual distributors of anabolic steroids. As the investigation evolved it uncovered regional, national and international targets involved in the illegal importation of controlled substances from China, Europe and Canada. Over time the investigation crossed the lines from illegal distribution of anabolic steroids to illegal distribution of prescription drugs and distribution of designer drugs such as MDMA/ecstasy.

Criminal complaints and indictments by a grand jury are accusatory in nature and should not be considered a determination of guilt. All defendants are considered innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.