Steroid smuggling gets dealer jailed for three years
Police found £98,000 in cash when they raided the home of a body builder in connection with a multi-million pound illegal steroids business in Leeds.
The business had been distributing the drugs around the world from a base in Leeds.
Andrew Fletcher, 41, was jailed for three years and five months for his involvement in the £5m operation in which vast sums were spent importing human growth hormones.
The YEP reported last month how the operation's mastermind, Nicholas Aristotelous, 39, of Roker Lane, Pudsey, was jailed for seven years for the five-year conspiracy, which ended in 2009.
Money was transferred primarily to China to buy the drugs as well as other prescription-only and unlicensed medicines including Kamagra - a fake version of viagra.
They were then despatched to addresses across the UK.
Leeds Crown Court heard Fletcher, of Penny Hill Drive, Bradford, was closely involved in the operation with Aristotelous until they fell out.
The pair had previously flown out to the Far East together as they set up the operation.
Police raided Fletcher's home in June 2008 and found £94,000 in cash, much of it hidden in a bread bin.
While officers were searching his home, a package was posted through the door containing £4,000 in cash.
The court heard Fletcher had bragged about being able to sell 1,000 boxes of steroids every month.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to contravene the Customs and Management Act, possessing criminal property and transferring criminal property.
Fletcher failed to attend court on December 17, when Aristotelous and four other men were sentenced, and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Ian Harris, for Fletcher, said his involvement ended after the raid on his home.
He said Fletcher had also been involved in legitimate business when he went to China, arranging to import golf clubs and household items.
The barrister said Fletcher used to be a bodybuilder but was not in good health as a result of a shoulder injury.
Judge Christopher Batty told Fletcher the offences had to be marked by a significant prison sentence.
He said there was severe dangers associated with the drugs he dealt in, including heart attacks, blood disorders and blindness.