OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
NOVEMBER 17, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPERATION RAW DEAL
OPERATION JUICE BOX
THREE DEFENDANTS SENTENCED
FOR DISTRIBUTING STEROIDS
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three defendants have been sentenced in federal court in separate but related cases arising from Operation Raw Deal, an international investigation targeting the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of anabolic steroids and its raw materials, mainly from China. The related investigation in the Western District of Missouri is called Operation Juice Box.
Bryan Greggory Wilson, 40, of Kansas City, Mo., formerly of Columbia, Mo., his former wife, April Jones, 35, of Columbia, and Jason Varner, 35, of Jefferson City, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey on Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Wilson was sentenced to two years and 11 months in federal prison without parole. Jones was sentenced to six months in federal prison without parole. Varner was sentenced to three years of probation, including three months of home confinement.
Wilson and Jones each pleaded guilty in August 2008 to participating in a conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids from as early as 2003 to Sept. 15, 2007. Wilson also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and Jones also pleaded guilty to money laundering. Varner pleaded guilty in July 2008 to possessing anabolic steroids with the intent to distribute.
Wilson was arrested on Sept. 15, 2007, when he picked up a package from China containing approximately one kilogram of raw steroid powder at the Columbia, Mo., UPS Store. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of his residence in Kansas City and found numerous items consistent with the manufacture and/or conversion of anabolic steroids. Officers found two large pill presses as well as other laboratory equipment and what appeared to be finished product. They seized approximately $60,000 from Wilson’s residence and bank accounts controlled by Wilson and Jones.
DEA agents in California identified Wilson as an underground lab operator in February 2007. This information was developed from an international investigation into the illegal exportation of anabolic steroids from the People’s Republic of China. DEA agents in Missouri identified several Internet steroid message boards, which provide an arena to buy and distribute steroids. Wilson and Jones ordered the chemicals and steroid powders via the Internet, converted the raw steroid powder to pill and liquid form, and utilized the U.S. Postal Service and other package delivery service providers to acquire and distribute the steroids throughout the country.
Wilson and Jones caused multiple Western Union wire transfers as payment for anabolic steroids shipped from the Peoples Republic of China. They used bank accounts to comingle their drug trafficking proceeds with any legitimate sources of income in order to conceal the true source of the drug proceeds, and also used that money to promote the steroid distribution. From 2002 through 2007, Jones admitted, they deposited a total of $874,023 into those bank accounts, including $519,402 in cash deposits.
Varner was arrested on Sept. 19, 2007, at a commuter parking lot where he was planning to pick up an order of anabolic steroids. Varner had ordered approximately $10,000 worth of anabolic steroids. Half of that order had already been delivered, with arrangements to deliver a portion of the remaining order to Varner at the parking lot. During a later search of Varner’s residence, law enforcement officers found 44 vials of anabolic steroids.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Miller. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri United Strike Team and Narcotics Group).
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at