Two Edmonton police officers were found guilty this week for running a highly profitable steroid ring—selling anabolic steroids to fellow cops.
Edmonton Police officer Greg Lewis was tried and convicted on multiple counts of trafficking a controlled substance while he ostensibly protected the people of Edmonton.
“Given (the) convictions on two of those charges, disciplinary proceedings under the Police Service Regulation will now be initiated,” said EPS spokesperson Carolin Maran.
In their decision, however, the court somewhat justified the cop’s use and sale of steroids as a means of being fit.
While reading his decision, Brooker detailed how Lewis, 36, was a “proponent of fitness” who had a reputation for knowing where to find steroids, reported CBC.
Lewis has been on unpaid suspension since he was busted in March of 2015. After a two-year investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, Lewis was finally charged.
During the trial, Lewis admitted to both using steroids and selling them to his colleagues. What’s more, his fellow cops even testified that they bought the drugs from him.
The other officer charged with Lewis, Darren French, pleaded guilty in June 2016 to two counts of trafficking Stanozolol and Methyl-1-Testosterone, according to CBC.
While Lewis’s sentencing has been delayed until further notice, French received a slap on the wrist for his role in the ring.
French was given probation and a $1,500 fine and was allowed to retire with his pension for his 25 years of ‘service.’
While it is certainly the belief that anyone should be able to put anything into their own body without persecution of the state, police officers using anabolic steroids—which included a host of aggressive side effects—is an extremely bad idea.
There is no question that many police officers use performance-enhancing drugs. In fact, the problem of police steroid use became so bad, in 2004, the DEA intervened to warn of the “possible psychological disturbances” of roid-raging cops.
The DEA said symptoms included:
- Mood swings (including manic-like symptoms leading to violence)
- Impaired judgment (stemming from feelings of invincibility)
- Extreme irritability
- Hostility and aggression
Eventually, a few years later, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, made up of 16,000 members worldwide set a standard that “calls upon state and local law enforcement entities to establish a model policy prohibiting the use of illegally obtained steroids” by officers.
However, this policy never happened.
Not only do cops vehemently resist being drug tested by their departments, claiming it is a violation of their civil rights, they are also frequently caught selling steroids.
“This is one of the dirty little secrets of American law enforcement,” says Gregory Gilbertson, a former Atlanta cop who teaches criminal justice in the Seattle area and works as a legal expert on police standards and practices, according to Alternet. “Steroid testing is declining, and I think there’s an attitude in all these agencies of ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ because they don’t want to know about it. Because if they know about it, then they have to address it.”
These Edmonton cops are not alone either. As previously reported, Darrion Holiwell, 51, was arrested and charged for not only taking steroids but dealing them to other SWAT deputies on the force, as well as people outside the agency.
As Alternet pointed out, the cases of cops using and selling steroids are anything but isolated.
These are some of the cases that have made news in the past year, though there likely are others that have not been revealed publicly:
- In June, a Jeffersonville, Ind., cop, Anthony Mills, resigned after pleading guilty to possession of steroids. His attorney told the media that Mills did not consider steroids to be illegal drugs.
- This spring, authorities in Edmonton, Alberta, revealed that a handful of police officers had been involved in the use or distribution of Stanozolol, the steroid commonly sold as Winstrol. More than 30 officers in Edmonton have been implicated in steroid use in the past few years, according to press reports there.
- In January, a Portland, Ore. cop who faced firing for a positive steroid test was allowed to resign.
- Last fall, a scandal rocked police in the Augusta, Ga., area when a man arrested for steroids possession gave authorities a list of steroid users among local law enforcement officers. At least one deputy resigned; authorities denied that the list included as many 30 others.
- Also last fall, the Miami New Times revealed that Miami-Dade police officers had been customers of Biogenesis, a South Florida steroid clinic at the heart of professional baseball’s ongoing doping scandal.
The dangers of cops taking steroids are obvious, as the rage associated with their use can become uncontrollable. All too often, we see police officers immediately escalate situations to violence when de-escalation would have been far easier and safer. Steroids could be the reason.
“I keep seeing all of these cases where the level of anger and violence shown by officers makes no sense,” Gilbertson says. “And when things don’t make sense, they don’t make sense for a reason…Maybe steroid rage is a reason so many police officers seem so angry and aggressive.”
Cops on the juice feel indestructible, as if they have superhuman strength.
Or as the DEA puts it, “The idea of enhanced physical strength and endurance provides one with ‘the invincible mentality’ when performing law enforcement duties.”
Starting to make sense now?
“Reasonable suspicion should be raised if they shoot somebody or beat the living daylights out of somebody,” Dan Handelman, a founding member of Portland Copwatch told Alternet. “In some of these recent cases, the officers seemed to be pumped up and were not necessarily working in a calm and level-headed manner. We wonder how much of this was coming from natural adrenaline and how much coming from other substances.”