Businessman Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Distribute Anabolic Steroids As Dietary Supplements And Mislabeling Products
Memphis, TN – Joseph De Melo, Sr., 59, of New Orleans, LA, pleaded guilty in federal court to a two-count criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and one count of intentionally misbranding a purported dietary supplement sold under the name “Vertical,” announced Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
According to the facts revealed in the information and statements made in open court, Joseph De Melo, Sr. owned Rezultz Distribution LLC, located in Carrollton, Texas, which sold purported dietary supplements throughout the United States and the Western District of Tennessee.
Beginning in September of 2012 and continuing through September of 2013, De Melo conspired with individuals to distribute 40,000 pills of anabolic steroids, which are Schedule III controlled substances. De Melo also distributed into interstate commerce a purported dietary supplement called Vertical, which listed false and misleading ingredients. Vertical in fact contained erectile dysfunction drugs that were not listed on the label of the drug, which is in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 331(a) and 333(a)(2).
As part of the conspiracy De Melo deposited proceeds of the sales into various financial accounts and instruments he controlled. De Melo agreed to forfeit over $650,000, which were proceeds obtained as a result of these violations. De Melo will be sentenced on April 30, 2015, by U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson.
The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tony R. Arvin and Damon K. Griffin represented the government.