Ringleader and Members of Multi-State Anabolic Steroid Trafficking Network Sentenced
NORFOLK, Va. – Today, a Richmond man was the sixth and final defendant to be sentenced for his role in a multi-state anabolic steroid conspiracy that operated across the country.
According to court documents, Clyde Edward Peele, 46, is one of six members of a trafficking network, led by Michael Steven Lambert, 37, of Wilson County, North Carolina. Starting in 2018, Lambert and the five other members of the conspiracy manufactured and distributed anabolic steroids to customers across the country. They also worked together to hide and launder the proceeds of their illegal activities.
Lambert and his wife, Laura Lambert, 32, began this operation in their residence located in Wilson County. They used raw materials received from China to manufacture liquid and pill-form steroids for wholesale distribution. Lambert’s products were advertised on various underground internet forums and, with the assistance of his co-conspirators, the group shipped wholesale quantities of steroids through the U.S. Postal Service to various states for further distribution. The organization concealed its activities by using false names and identity information, encrypted messaging platforms, and crypto-currency accounts.
In 2018, North Carolina authorities arrested and charged Lambert with possession of anabolic steroids with the intent to distribute. Lambert was convicted and ordered to serve an active sentence in 2019. Rather than turn himself in to serve the sentence, Lambert adopted a new identity and moved the operation to Pennsylvania. Once there, the Lamberts and other co-conspirators resumed the distribution operation.
After the arrest of another co-conspirator, the Lamberts moved in with Adam Morin, 36, of Hanover County. Morin not only assisted in the manufacture of anabolic steroids, but he also manufactured silencers for weapons Lambert illegally possessed.
In early 2020, Lambert and his wife rented a residence in Surry County, where they established another massive anabolic steroid distribution operation. Peele worked for Lambert several days a week pressing powders into pills and shipping product to customers across the country. To avoid detection, Peele shipped packages using false names and from various postal branches in Surry County and Richmond.
Erik Eckert, 35, of Jacksonville, Florida, a Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy, and Hamdy Sayed, 37, of Katy, Texas, each received wholesale quantities of anabolic steroids from Lambert’s trafficking network and sold the steroids to others. Sayed also assisted the organization by collecting drug proceeds and funneling them through various cryptocurrency accounts and using drug proceeds to purchase luxury vehicles for the Lamberts to drive.
In total, Lambert manufactured and distributed tens of thousands of steroid units and admitted that he earned well over a million dollars in gross drug proceeds over the course of approximately two and a half years. The Lamberts used those proceeds to purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry, and a horse, among other items.
Today, Peele was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy. On September 7, Morin was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy. On September 23, Laura Lambert and Sayed were sentenced to 18 months and 3 months in prison respectively for their roles in the conspiracy. On October 12, Eckert was sentenced to time served, or approximately three months, in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Additionally, as a result of his involvement in this conspiracy, he will be discharged from the U.S. Navy.
On October 22 Lambert was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the conspiracy.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division; Daniel A. Adame, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Frederick E. Franks, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Paul Neudigate, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Roderick C. Young.
The Norfolk Resident Office Tactical Diversion Squad conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bird and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bosse are prosecuting the case.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-112.