Two Ukrainian men who led an international steroid ring were sentenced Thursday in Pittsburgh to three years and 10 months in prison.
Yeveniy Suray, 29, and Oleksandr Skochyk, 35, were arrested in 2010 after undercover Food and Drug Administration agent Sean Grillo lured them to a meeting in Cyprus by offering them computer consulting services. They sold through domestic dealers, including one in southwestern Pennsylvania, and were prosecuted in Pittsburgh.
Internal Revenue Service agent Neal Bandzak later estimated that the business they led was bringing in more than $100,000 a month from some 600 U.S. customers in early 2009.
"It was a sophisticated international drug ring, a profitable international drug ring and a dangerous international drug ring," U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose said. She said the steroids sent to the U.S. were manufactured primarily in the Far East, where drug purity regulation doesn't compare to that in this country.
Mr. Suray apologized and pleaded for a prompt return to Ukraine.
Mr. Skochyk, known in bodybuilding circles as "Musclebear," said nothing during the hearing, at which he was served by an interpreter, but then afterward yelled, in English, "You know that I didn't do it!"
Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Dillon said the business they led bribed a Western Union employee and perhaps a Ukrainian customs employee. He said it appears that the business continues to operate, although it is no longer selling to the U.S.
The two are expected to be deported after serving their sentences.