By Jessica De Nova/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore.-The Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team (MADGE) served a warrant, Wednesday, at the home of a man accused of selling erectile dysfunction drugs and anabolic steroids.
Police said a tip from another agency outside the state pointed them in the right direction.
Investigators found 18,000 doses of liquid steroid, 250 of another drug, suspected to be Viagra, and almost eight pounds of a white powder, believed to be Viagra and Cialis.
Scales, packaging materials, drug records and over $15,000 in cash, were also discovered.
Police said Rafael Fernandez (39) sold the drugs under the label, Superior Labs.
That label was also used by an Ariz. man, arrested in 2007, for selling steroids online under the screen name The Iron Bull on the internet forum Getanabolics.com.
Lt. Brett Johnson with MADGE said it's too early to tell if there is a connection between this Medford case and the Ariz. case in 2007. "It's really early in our investigation so I'm not, we don't know of any connection at this point, certainly couldn't rule it out, but uh, at this point, it looks like he just came up with a name and started putting that on the pill bottles that he was shipping out," said Johnson.
The Ariz. man was ordering raw steroid powder from China. Investigators believe Fernandez also had sources outside the U.S. and was repackaging the drugs to mail to drug traffickers within the country.
Police believe Fernandez's main customers were body builders. "It's kind of a sub-culture of its own from the body builders [...] a lot of it is word of mouth and maybe some forums that are unique to that, to those kind of cultures," said Lt. Johnson.
Medford Police think the accused man was at the top of a nationwide dealing pyramid. Lt. Johnson said those at the end of the chain were also breaking the law, "The possession of steroids alone is a misdemeanor if you don't have a prescription and delivery of it is a felony."
A pharmacist at West Main Pharmacy said buying drugs from an unlicensed source is not safe. "They don't know exactly what they're gonna get. There's no accountability," said General Manager and Pharmacist, Marc Ditommaso. He added, not knowing what you are getting, could be a fatal mistake, "You could die, it could interact with something that you're taking through your doctor legitimately, um, you could have something in there, or too much of something, or not enough, you know where it's not working enough or it's working too much. Not a good idea."
Ditommaso recommended people check the accreditation of pharmacies with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
. VIPPS accreditation of online pharmacies can be checked here
Medford Detectives still have to process computer and phone records to gain more information in this ongoing investigation.
Fernandez was lodged at the Jackson County Jail on $18,000 bail.