COLUMBIA - A Columbia man pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking charges on Monday, the result of Operation Raw Deal, the largest black market steroid investigation in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri.
Bryan G. Wilson, 39, was arrested Sept. 15, 2007, after he picked up at the Columbia UPS store a package shipped from China that contained raw steroid powder. Wilson was charged with conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids and to commit money laundering. The charges were filed as part of Operation Juice Box, which focused specifically on Missouri. He pleaded guilty to both charges Monday.
When investigators searched Wilson's residence in Kansas City in 2007, they discovered pill presses, laboratory equipment and anabolic steroids, according to a news release. Investigators also seized $60,000 from the residence and Wilson's bank accounts.
Along with Wilson, three other Missouri residents were arrested. April Dawn Wilson, 32, of Columbia was charged with conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and one count of distributing anabolic steroids. April and Bryan Wilson were married and co-owned a smoothie shop in Columbia; they divorced in 2006.
Jason Ray Varner, 33, of Jefferson City and Mikal Gunn Schrage, 28, of Nixa were indicted on possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids. Varner and Schrage both pleaded guilty to those charges in late July.
The Wilsons, along with Varner and Schrage, were prosecuted under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990. Under this act, offenders who possess anabolic steroids can receive up to one year in prison. Repeat offenders or individuals who possess steroids near sports facilities may face twice that penalty.
Bryan Wilson's plea agreement includes details about shipments delivered to his home from companies connected to steroid manufacturing, including a company that sells conversion kits used to turn testosterone powder into an injectable steroid. According to the agreement, investigators used a confidential source to contact Bryan Wilson through e-mail to order anabolic steroids.
The plea agreement also states that multiple bank accounts shared since 2002 by Bryan and April Wilson were used to conceal drug trafficking profits alongside income from the business they co-owned.
Bryan Wilson could face up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million, according to the news release. The plea agreement states that Wilson will be sentenced at a later hearing.