As a member of the fourth estate, we receive the media alerts from the Lakeland Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Some we’ll follow up and some we read for background and move on. There simply isn’t time to cover every story when you’re part of the not-for-profit press.
However, there are the occasional alerts we feel readers would find interesting. We’ve presented a few in the past, and will continue to do so when appropriate. Please understand that the text below was written by the PCSO, and is presented for your information.
We doubt we’ll cover this story, and look forward to seeing what Jeremy Maready puts together.
From the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (May 26, 11:12pm):
Polk County Sheriff’s Undercover Narcotics detectives, in conjunction with agents from ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), served a search warrant at 1087 Stoney Creek Drive in Lakeland at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, after ICE received information that the homeowners, Richard and Sandra Thomas, were due to receive a large shipment of illegal anabolic steroids. After serving the search warrant, both Richard and Sandra were placed under arrest and booked into the Polk County Jail for several counts of possession of illegal steroids, firearms, and maintaining a dwelling for drug use.
The following are comments made by Sheriff Grady Judd at a news conference held Tuesday evening in reference to these arrests:
PCSO detectives developed information from ICE agents in Philadelphia that there would be a package of illegal anabolic steroids delivered to the residence of Richard and Sandra Thomas at 1087 Stoney Creek Drive in Lakeland. After the delivery of the steroids, PCSO undercover Narcotics detectives and ICE agents executed a search warrant and recovered the steroids. In addition, they recovered Valium and thousands of anabolic steroid pills, injectable liquids, and syringes. Detectives also seized an AR-15 assault rifle, shotguns, and numerous semi-automatic handguns, all of which were loaded.
Detectives asked Richard Thomas about his suppliers, and he stated that he purchased them from all over the world. He then stated that he was the biggest dealer of anabolic steroids in the central Florida area. Thomas further stated that he imported steroids from Iran, Pakistan, Slovakia, Russia, China, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, and Germany. Detectives specifically asked Richard if he had sold anabolic steroids to professional steroids, and he replied, “You name the sport, and I’ve sold steroids to athletes who play it.” He claims to have sold steroids to professional baseball players, hockey players, and football players.
Richard and his wife Sandra were semi-professional body builders themselves. One anabolic steroid they were found to be in possession of was Oxymetholone (from Iran), which they stated that “cops are afraid of this steroid because it makes people so crazy they can flip a car.” Richard further stated that he was the largest steroid dealer in the state of Florida ten years ago, but now he is the biggest dealer only in the central Florida area. Richard’s mother told detectives that steroids is all he has ever known, and that his father introduced him to steroids. When Richard was asked if he was addicted to steroids, he replied, “It’s all I’ve ever known.”
Richard said he was once detained at the border of Mexico and the U.S. in 1995 and paid a fine to the Mexican authorities for possession of steroids.
Richard and Sandra are both being charged with:
10 counts Possession Anabolic Steroids With Intent to Sell or Distribute (F-1)
10 counts Importation of Anabolic Steroids Into the State of Florida
1 count Maintaining a Dwelling for Drug Sales