Kentucky Man is Last of Six Sentenced in Anabolic Steroids and Pill Distribution Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska
United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Justin T. Hail, 37, of Somerset, Kentucky, was sentenced today in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute anabolic steroids, methamphetamine, N-Ethylhexedrone, and Alprazolam, and conspiracy to launder money. Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Hail to imprisonment for a term of 72 months. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison, Hail will begin a 3-year term of supervised release.
Hail was a member of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that produced and distributed anabolic steroids and other controlled substances to customers throughout the country using a private Facebook group as an online storefront and the United States Postal Service to ship the drugs to locations throughout the country. Two members of the conspiracy operated clandestine laboratories from the west coast, specifically for the purpose of producing finished anabolic steroids. In addition to anabolic steroids, the DTO marketed and sold pharmaceutical drugs described as Xanax and Adderall. Legitimately prescribed pharmaceutical Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance containing amphetamine salts. However, laboratory testing revealed that the pills marketed as “Adderall” by the DTO were counterfeit and contained methamphetamine, also a Schedule II controlled substance. The “Xanax” distributed by the DTO contained N-Ethylhexedrone, a Scheduled I controlled substance. “Xanax” is a brand name for Alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance. Alprazolam was also confirmed by laboratory testing to be present in substances recovered by investigators.
Customers purchasing controlled substances from the DTO were required to use cryptocurrency and cash to pay. Hail conducted sales for the organization and used peer-to-peer digital payment platforms to accept payments for controlled substances from customers and to transfer funds to and from other DTO members. In addition to the use of digital payment platforms, the DTO used various other methods designed to protect the membership’s anonymity and to provide security for the criminal organization from law enforcement and other criminal organizations. Proceeds from the sale of steroids and other controlled substances were laundered by various sophisticated means
In addition to Hail, five other members of the DTO were prosecuted and convicted. They were Jonathan Stidham, sentenced to imprisonment for 156 months; Fernando Lopez-Reyes, 96 months; Robert Hood, 72 months; Lindsey Garcia, 48 months, and Justin Ames, who received a time served sentence.
“These defendants attempted a complex and unique scheme using social media platforms and cryptocurrencies, but ultimately could not escape the reach of IRS Criminal Investigation’s special agents and our law enforcement partners,” said St. Louis Field Office Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Murdock. “IRS-CI is proud to be part of such a premier investigation team to help dismantle drug trafficking organizations across the country.”
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF. This case was investigated by the Omaha offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Updated March 13, 2023