HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Six people are waiting to be sentenced after pleading guilty to an illegal steroid operation that spanned across several states.
Federal officials say U.S. Navy Petty Officer Erik Eckert pleaded guilty to his role in a multi-state illegal steroid trafficking network.
He bought wholesale amounts of the steroids from a couple based in Surry.
Laura and Michael Lambert have already pleaded guilty.
Court documents say said Eckert then sold the steroids to others, including fellow servicemembers.
Eckert's attorney, Brian Latuga, issued a statement on his client's behalf:
"While serving in the United States Navy, Mr. Eckert suffered from service-related PTSD and became both a lawful and unlawful user of Steroids. Physical fitness became an outlet for him to handle his illness. Unfortunately, this led him down a path of illegal conduct to support a worsening habit. He is regretful that he did not get the necessary mental health treatment he needed to avoid this outcome. He is grateful for the opportunity to accept responsibility for his crimes and to move forward in his recovery."
"The DEA’s investigation in conjunction with Virginia Beach PD led to the dismantlement of a significant anabolic steroid drug trafficking operation going on," said Jarod Forget, special agent in charge of the DEA Washington Office.
The DEA said the raw materials for the steroids were shipped here from China, then drugs were made in Virginia and distributed to other states.
"You do not know what you are putting into your body, so you may be expecting to put steroids in your body and you may be getting another type of drug that you didn't anticipate," said Forget.
He said there are major problems with other countries trying to infiltrate our streets with illegal drugs. He said the DEA is working to stay on top of how the drugs are being sold on the dark web.
Federal officials say the group used encrypted messaging online along with fake names and advertised on underground internet forums.
Federal authorities say the Lamberts used the proceeds from the conspiracy to purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry and a horse, among other items.
All six are waiting to be sentenced:
- Michael Steven Lambert, aka “Christopher DeCamillo,” 36: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession with the Intent to Distribute; and Felon in Possession of a Firearm
- Laura Frances Lambert, aka “Laura Purcell,” 31: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession with the Intent to Distribute
- Adam Morin, 35: Making an Unregistered Silencer
- Hamdy Sayed, 36: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances
- Clyde Edward Peele, aka “Bo,” 45: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances
- Erik Eckert, 34: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances