Two Men Involved in the Illegal Manufacture and Distribution of Xanax and Steroids are Sentenced
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that two men have been sentenced in Hartford federal court for conspiring to manufacture counterfeit Xanax tablets and anabolic steroids, and distribute the controlled substances on the dark web. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson sentenced WILLIAM FUSCO, 34, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to 20 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Today, Judge Thompson sentenced JASON CHEN, 34, of Norwich, Connecticut, to three years of probation, the first three months of which Chen must serve in home confinement.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Fusco marketed counterfeit Xanax tablets and anabolic steroid pills on dark web forums such as Alphabay. Fusco paid Chen to maintain two pill presses at Chen’s residence and help Fusco manufacture and distribute the counterfeit Xanax and steroids to Fusco’s customers. Fusco arranged to have chemicals needed to produce Xanax and steroids shipped to Chen’s residence. On several occasions, Fusco traveled to Chen’s home to mix chemicals and press chemicals, including Alprazolam powder into Xanax pills.
Fusco sent Chen emails that indicated the product, quantity, and mailing address of each customer, as well as a link for Chen to click on to get a prepaid shipping label that corresponded to the order. Chen packaged the controlled substances, printed the prepaid shipping labels, applied the labels onto the corresponding packages, and then dropped the packages into various blue U.S. Postal Service collection boxes. For several months, Chen shipped approximately 30 packages per week. Fusco paid Chen between $10 and $20, in Bitcoin, for each package.
A court-authorized search of Chen’s residence revealed two industrial pill tableting machines, tool and dye molds, one electric powder mixer/hopper, approximately 65,122 Xanax tablets, approximately 792 grams of Alprazolam powder, approximately 12,000 steroid capsules, more than 321/100ml liquid steroid vials, and approximately $8,900 in cash.
Fusco was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on June 16, 2017. On that date, a court-authorized search of his residence revealed tool and dye molds, electronic scales, chemistry equipment, pill capsules, steroid bottle caps, other items used to process and package controlled substances, $42,448 in cash, eight firearms, and ammunition.
In December 2017, Fusco and Chen each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, controlled substances, and one count of possession of a tableting machine or any equipment used to manufacture a controlled substance. In pleading guilty, they admitted that they conspired to distribute more than 213,000 counterfeit Xanax tablets and thousands of units of anabolic steroids.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Richards.