A Medford man police say illegally sold steroids locally and across several states faces forfeiture of $64,000 he allegedly made from drug sales, according to court documents.
Police raided the Cedar Links home of Rafael R. Fernandez on Feb. 6 after being tipped off in July 2012 by a confidential source that Fernandez "was heavily involved in the sale of anabolic steroids," said Medford police Detective Mark Cromwell, in a declaration filed Thursday in Medford's U.S. District Court.
"Several hundred doses of various types of steroids, several hundred doses of pills suspected to be Viagra, 1.8 pounds of a white powdery substance suspected to be bulk Viagra, scales, empty capsules and a capsule machine were located at Fernandez's residence during the search," Cromwell said.
Fernandez could not be reached for comment. Cromwell did not return calls from the Mail Tribune on Friday. Fernandez was lodged in the Jackson County Jail in February on charges of delivery, manufacture and possession of steroids, delivery, manufacture and possession of Viagra, and delivery and manufacture of Cialis. Court records show no charges listed against Fernandez.
At the time, investigators said it was likely the largest steroid bust in Medford police history.
Cromwell, also deputized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, worked with Oregon State Police Detective Brian Powers and Las Vegas police officers on the case, which crosses several state lines and involves numerous suspects.
A man arrested by Las Vegas police had hundreds of doses of steroids in his home, along with boxes bearing Fernandez's initials and his home address on the return address information, Cromwell said in the court filings.
The Nevada suspect confessed that he had used and sold anabolic steroids for several years, he said, and that Fernandez was his supplier.
Cromwell said Fernandez also admitted to Powers that he had been selling steroids, Viagra and Cialis for the past two years, and that he shipped the substances to customers, packaged in boxes bearing the name Superior Lab.
"Fernandez told Detective Powers his customers ordered steroids from him via text messages and said he does not actually meet his customers in person because they are introduced through a mutual acquaintance," Cromwell wrote, adding Fernandez allegedly received payment for the drugs in the form of money orders, which he deposited into his bank accounts in the form of cash.
"Detective Powers examined Fernandez's cellphone and found text messages from different telephone numbers requesting steroids," he alleged.
Powers also said he interviewed Fernandez's customers who had made deposits to his bank account or provided him with money. One man admitted to meeting Fernandez at Gold's Gym in Eugene in 2011 and purchasing $200 worth of steroids from him, police said. The man reportedly told Powers the steroids had made him sick, so he stopped using them and did not purchase more, Cromwell said.
During the search of Fernandez's home, police said, detectives located information on bank accounts Fernandez owned. Cromwell seized $37,982 from Fernandez's Umpqua Bank account, which had numerous cash deposits from seven different branch locations in Washington and Oregon.
Cromwell also seized $25,718 from a second account with Northwest Community Credit Union, which he said represented proceeds from the steroid distribution. Only a single, $100 deposit appeared to be non-drug related, Cromwell said.
"I know that most individuals with legitimate sources of income do not receive that income via cash deposits from out-of-state sources," he said.
Fernandez had a third account with Wells Fargo Bank that had more than $15,000 in cash that had been deposited in a month's time, Cromwell said.
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.