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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 5/27/2009 

 Self-Proclaimed Largest Steroid Dealer in Central Florida Arrested in Lakeland 

Polk County Sheriff’s Undercover Narcotics detectives, in conjunction with agents from ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), served a search warrant at 1087 Stoney Creek Drive in Lakeland at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, after ICE received information that the homeowners, Richard and Sandra Thomas, were due to receive a large shipment of illegal anabolic steroids. After serving the search warrant, both Richard and Sandra were placed under arrest and booked into the Polk County Jail for several counts of possession of illegal steroids, firearms, and maintaining a dwelling for drug use.

The following are comments made by Sheriff Grady Judd at a news conference held Tuesday evening in reference to these arrests:

PCSO detectives developed information from ICE agents in Philadelphia that there would be a package of illegal anabolic steroids delivered to the residence of Richard and Sandra Thomas at 1087 Stoney Creek Drive in Lakeland. After the delivery of the steroids, PCSO undercover Narcotics detectives and ICE agents executed a search warrant and recovered the steroids. In addition, they recovered Valium and thousands of anabolic steroid pills, injectable liquids, and syringes. Detectives also seized an AR-15 assault rifle, shotguns, and numerous semi-automatic handguns, all of which were loaded.

Detectives asked Richard Thomas about his suppliers, and he stated that he purchased them from all over the world. He then stated that he was the biggest dealer of anabolic steroids in the central Florida area. Thomas further stated that he imported steroids from Iran, Pakistan, Slovakia, Russia, China, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, and Germany. Detectives specifically asked Richard if he had sold anabolic steroids to professional steroids, and he replied, “You name the sport, and I’ve sold steroids to athletes who play it.” He claims to have sold steroids to professional baseball players, hockey players, and football players.

Richard and his wife Sandra were semi-professional body builders themselves. One anabolic steroid they were found to be in possession of was Oxymetholone (from Iran), which they stated that “cops are afraid of this steroid because it makes people so crazy they can flip a car.” Richard further stated that he was the largest steroid dealer in the state of Florida ten years ago, but now he is the biggest dealer only in the central Florida area. Richard’s mother told detectives that steroids is all he has ever known, and that his father introduced him to steroids. When Richard was asked if he was addicted to steroids, he replied, “It’s all I’ve ever known.”

Richard said he was once detained at the border of Mexico and the U.S. in 1995 and paid a fine to the Mexican authorities for possession of steroids.

Richard and Sandra are both being charged with:

10 counts Possession Anabolic Steroids With Intent to Sell or Distribute (F-1)

10 counts Importation of Anabolic Steroids Into the State of Florida

1 count Maintaining a Dwelling for Drug Sales 

In response to local and national media inquiries, Sheriff Grady Judd has issued the following statement about the arrest of Richard Thomas of Lakeland, Florida:

 “Richard Thomas told Sheriff’s narcotics detectives when he was asked if he had sold steroids to professional athletes, ‘Name the sport – if they played it, I sold it.’ Then Richard Thomas went further and specifically mentioned two professional sports teams from the Washington D.C. area whose players he had sold steroids to – the DC Nationals baseball team, and the Washington Capitals hockey team. While he stated to detectives that he sold steroids to professional athletes on those teams, he did not mention any specific players’ names. Our detectives, with their supervisors, interviewed and re-interviewed Thomas on these points. We have no evidence other than the statements from this self-proclaimed ‘largest steroid dealer in central Florida’ that he sold steroids to professional athletes, however, the investigation is ongoing.” – Sheriff Grady Judd