We have been hearing about a lot of average folks being busted for making, and selling anabolic steroids through home operations lately. This week, it was a former Chicago nightclub bouncer, JOSEPH T. PALERMO, who was charged with having an illegal steroid lab at his own suburban house. This is a follow up operation to Operation Cyber Juice. Currently, it seems the DEA is taking down USA based domestic Underground Labs (UG labs) 1 by 1.
Ease of operation
Anabolic steroid use is extremely common today; from teenagers in high school using them in sports, to adult pro athletes and just gym rats looking to improve their bench press. Interestingly, it seems like everyone who is connected to sports, bodybuilding or weight training is on anabolic steroids these days, or used them in the past. Furthermore, the reason steroids are so widespread is that they are easy to find, and the punishment for possessing them is slim, assuming you have no prior record.
Therefore, it is extremely easy for any average joe with no experience to decide to make cash by selling steroids out of their home, and open up an operation. However, selling steroids is a whole different story, as local and federal law enforcement do not like if you are making money through selling anything illegal, and will quickly gather evidence before stepping in and shutting you down.
In any event, we know there is plenty of demand, which is necessary in any business venture where you are selling a product, and sellers use the internet and gyms to find customers.
Joseph Palermo decided to do just that: produce and sell steroids. He isn't some big name drug dealer with tons of knowledge on this subject - he was just an 'average joe' former bouncer, who decided in his late 20's to start an operation out of his house. In fact, he was successful for 5 years before finally getting caught. Federal agents executing a search warrant discovered a steroid lab in a closet in one of his bedrooms that had a lock on it. There they found 600 empty glass vials, 250 filled with steroids, 6000 tablets of steroids, beakers, scale, and everything else you need to brew.
Palermo was taken into custody and was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, and bonded out. According to the report, this is part of an ongoing investigation, and we can assume there will be more arrests coming, especially with HSI, ICE, and USPIS all working on the cases.
How he got caught
The report said that Palermo purchased the steroid powders using WU, with the shipments sent to PO Boxes that he opened in his name, or in names of people who had mistakenly left ID's behind at the nightclub he had worked at. Palermo estimated he grossed around $2000 per month through this scheme, but we can logically guess he is lying, and it is much more than that.
Three months prior, US Customs in California intercepted a Chinese parcel filled with 350 grams of 'an oily anabolic steroid.' (likely Equipoise) Then the next month US Customs intercepted a 2nd shipment, this time with powdery anabolic steroids concealed in a tinfoil baggie. Both were addressed to one of Palermo's PO boxes, under his stolen ID's name, leading to his arrest in September.
Depending on an individual's history, one can face up to 10 years in prison, and $500,000 in fines.