A physician and four other California residents have been indicted for allegedly conspiring to funnel millions of dollars in steroids onto a nationwide black market for the body-building drugs, the Justice Department announced yesterday.
A 32-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in San Jose, Calif., accused the five of operating a clandestine drug distribution and manufacturing mail-order business in steroids, which are bought by weight lifters, football players and other athletes.
The prescription drugs are male hormones and chemical derivatives which build muscles. Side effects from using steroids can include cancer of the liver and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and sterility.
Dr. John Perzik of Milpitas and Steven Coons of Santa Clara ordered $765,000 in prescription drugs from pharmaceutical companies in 1985 and moved them to locations not registered to the state of California in order to conceal the illegal distribution from the federal government, said the indictment.
Coons and another defendant, Jeffrey Feliciano of Fountain Valley, promoted the drugs through as East German drugs, when in fact Feliciano manufactured some of them in a clandestine laboratory in Fountain Valley, the indictment alleged. Coons paid $860,000 for the steroids manufactured by Feliciano, prosecutors said.