Turlock Attorney Pleads Guilty to Importation of Steroids
FRESNO, Calif. —Erik Harald Moje, 40, of Turlock, pleaded guilty today to the importation of anabolic steroids from China, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone. They are regulated under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule III controlled substance and may not be possessed lawfully in the United States without a prescription.
According to court documents, between December 1, 2013, and September 1, 2015, Moje, a licensed attorney and professional bodybuilder, unlawfully purchased and obtained anabolic steroids from a supplier in China. Encrypted emails documented shipments and indicated that the purchase money would be deposited into the bank account for the Law Office of Eric Moje. He routed shipments of steroids through a UPS mail-forwarding service in New York, as well as private citizens in other parts of the country. In May 2015, agents intercepted a parcel containing one kilogram of steroids, which equates to 40,000 dosage units. In September 2015, the agents executed a search warrant at Moje’s residence. Behind a false wall in the garage, they found 538 10‑milliliter vials containing liquid anabolic steroids, which equates to 10,760 dosage units, and 17,700 steroid capsules, which equates to 17,700 dosage units. They also seized $29,925 in cash from the residence.
In pleading guilty, Moje agreed to the forfeiture of his residence in Turlock. The seized cash and a BMW were previously forfeited.
This case is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The case was also part of Operation Cyber Juice, a nationwide initiative targeting domestic and international steroid trafficking organizations. Agencies involved in this investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Turlock Police Department and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Kevin C. Khasigian are prosecuting the case.
Moje is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on May 15, 2017. Moje faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.