Florida Couple Pleads Guilty to Role in Scheme that Imported Steroids from China for Sale Over the Internet
BOSTON – A Florida couple pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to their roles in a scheme that imported raw steroids from China and sold them over the internet to customers across the United States.
Michael Fulton, 46, and Rhonda Fulton, 52, both of Palm Bay, Fla., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids. U.S District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled their sentencings for Aug. 27, 2018.
From January 2016 to September 2016, an undercover agent purchased steroids listed for sale on ustraininggear.com, a website that advertised various types of steroids for sale. The website provided instructions on how to place orders and pay for steroids, and further provided an email address operated by co-conspirator Mark Lopilato, of Sanger, Texas, to place orders.
Customers ordered steroids from Mark Lopilato who forwarded the orders by email to Rhonda and Michael Fulton. Michael Fulton processed and prepared raw steroids according to the customers’ orders, and Rhonda Fulton packaged and mailed them. Mark Lopilato and the Fultons ordered the raw steroids through the internet from China, then paid for and received the raw steroids by mail. Mark Lopilato paid the Fultons for the preparation, packaging and mailing of the steroids to customers; he also paid Michael Lopilato, his brother in N.H., to maintain and operate the website.
In January 2017, the Fultons and Michael and Mark Lopilato were arrested and charged for their roles in the steroid scheme. The related searches revealed more than 60,000 dosage units of raw steroids, a tableting machine, steroid packaging and shipping materials, and approximately $20,000 in cash. As a result of a federal warrant, agents also seized the website ustraininggear.com.
Mark and Michael Lopilato pleaded guilty in February 2018. Michael is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6, 2018. Mark’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute steroids provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $500,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Albert Angelucci, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Raymond Moss, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; North Reading Police Chief Michael Murphy; North Andover Police Chief Charles Gray; and Burlington Police Chief Mike Kent made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Ferguson of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.