Massachusetts man pleads guilty to running steroid ring

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Massachusetts man who authorities say imported large quantities of raw steroids that were then processed and packaged for redistribution throughout the U.S. pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple charges that could send him to prison for 40 years, federal prosecutors said.

Under terms of a plea agreement, David Esser, 47, of North Attleborough, will forfeit more than $640,000 in assets derived from his criminal activity, the U.S. attorney's office in Providence, Rhode Island, said in a statement. That includes more than $160,000 in cash and bank accounts; cryptocurrency valued at almost $270,000; and 13 properties purchased by Esser in Pennsylvania, four vehicles, and jewelry valued at about $214,000, prosecutors said.

He faces 40 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for June 7 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids, conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids while on release, and money laundering.

Esser arranged for the importation of raw steroids from suppliers primarily based in Hong Kong, prosecutors said. The raw steroids were shipped to various locations in the U.S. where people who worked for Esser converted the raw steroid into liquid form, packaged the product in vials, and shipped the vials back to North Attleborough.

From there, Esser and others shipped the product to customers across the nation, prosecutors said.

Esser was released on $50,000 bond following his initial arrest in February 2020, but was re-arrested in December when it was alleged he arranged to resume the sale, packaging, and distribution of steroids, authorities said. He was detained without bail after the second arrest.