CLAREMONT, Va. - Federal prosecutors are accusing a husband and wife of running a massive illegal steroid operation out of our region.
Michael and Laura Lambert were arrested on December 15 and taken to the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
Court documents reveal details what federal prosecutors are calling a massive production and distribution operation of anabolic steroids.
The illegal drugs are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. They said some common names for anabolic steroids are Gear, Juice, Roids and Stackers.
The operation was most recently based in Claremont, Virginia, from March until July. It states they were located at a home on the 3800 block of Spring Grove Avenue, but previously operated out of a home in Hanover, Virginia, and before that Pennsylvania, according to the indictment.
It accuses Michael Lambert of being the lead chemist and running the operation. Laura Lambert is accused of labeling the steroids and handling the money, according to the indictment.
The raw materials were ordered from China, then the steroids were produced in Virginia and sold to wholesalers in Texas and Florida, according to the indictment.
It states the business was called “Integrity Labs” and marketed on an internet bodybuilding forum called “Hardcore Underground”.
Records indicate they would send an average of 10 to 15 packages through the mail a day.
They accuse Michael Lambert of using the alias Christopher DeCamillo to allegedly avoid detection. He is are also facing charges for being a felon with guns and allegedly having an unregistered silencer.
Crime analyst and former detective Richard James said creating drugs from raw materials from China is dangerous.
“if you're going to inject something into your veins or take something by mouth and you don't know what you're getting, it could be something that is very, very dangerous, it can kill you immediately, it can cause a stroke,” James said. “Our government system is supposed to protect society from all dangers, and this is a danger to society.”
Documents state that proceeds from the sales went to buy luxury cars, a horse, jewelry and other items, along with more raw materials. When authorities searched the home in July, they said they found two guns, suppressors, $100,000 in assets, $4,600 in cash, a 2015 Maserati and 2015 BMW.
There were several other unidentified suspects in the indictment who allegedly helped with different parts of the operation.
Both defendants have entered a not guilty plea, according to court documents. Their charges include drug possession and distribution, gun charges and money laundering.
We reached out to the attorneys for both defendants, but they declined to comment on the case.
The next court hearing is in early January.