Former Columbia man sentenced for dealing illegal steroids

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Three defendants arrested as part of the largest illegal steroid investigation in history were sentenced in a federal court on Monday, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Missouri.

Bryan G. Wilson, 40, of Kansas Cityand formerly of Columbia, was sentenced to two years and 11 months in federal prison. His ex-wife, April Jones, 35, of Columbia was sentenced to six months. Neither sentence carries the possibility of parole.

They were arrested in 2007 as part of Operation Juice Box, which was conducted by various Missouri law enforcement agencies. This was a part of Operation Raw Deal, a federal effort that targeted international trafficking of anabolic steroids and its raw materials coming mainly from China.

Wilson pleaded guilty in August 2008 for charges of conspiracy to sell anabolic steroids and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The next day, Jones pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Jason Varner, 35, of Jefferson City was sentenced in a separate but related case. He was sentenced to three years of probation, including three months of house arrest. He had tried to buy $10,000 worth of steroids.

Wilson and Jones ran a steroid-dealing operation from 2003 to Sept. 15, 2007. That  day, Wilson was arrested with a kilogram of raw steroid powder at the Nifong UPS store, according to previous Missourian reports.

After his arrest, authorities searched Wilson’s home in Kansas City and seized presses to make steroid pills, $60,000 and other laboratory equipment.

Wilson and Jones had ordered the raw materials to make anabolic steroids from a distributor in China through the Internet and processed them into steroids. He then distributed the drug through the U.S. Postal Service and other delivery services.

The international steroids sting, which lasted 18 months, resulted in 124 arrests and the seizure of 56 steroid labs across the U.S.

Another Missouri man, Mikal Schrange of Nixa, was also charged in the Missouri operation, but in a case unrelated to the other three, according to news releases from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

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