A former Newtown police sergeant who pleaded guilty to leading a steroid distribution ring has been sentenced to 16 months in prison. Steven Santucci was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release. He must serve six months of home confinement and perform 120 hours of community service while on supervised release. Santucci, who is released on a $100,000 bond, was ordered to report to prison on October 10.
Santucci said his drug abuse began nearly a decade ago when his efforts at the gym failed to give him the body-building results he desired. He pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.
12 people were arrested in the Drug Enforcement Agency investigation dubbed Operation Juicebox.
In his plea for leniency, Santucci's sentencing memo noted that since resigning from the police department, he devoted time to Habitat for Humanity where he has applied his newly learned trade as an electrician.
The DEA received reports of users being infected with MERSA.
The Government's sentencing memo said that seriousness of Santucci’s conduct cannot be overstated, because while he was working to keep the people of Newtown safe, he single-handedly staffed a clandestine steroids laboratory and oversaw the distribution of steroids and counterfeit prescription pills. Authorities pointed out that Santucci used knowledge gained as a police officer to ensure that his operation remained clandestine.
His attorney said there is no easy explanation for how an otherwise law abiding individual could get so deeply involved in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. The blame was put on the certain level of steroid acceptance in the body building community. Santucci got lulled into believing that selling steroids was "not that big a deal." In retrospect, Santucci's attorney says the former Police Sergeant now realizes that he got lost to the point where he engaged in a persistent pattern of illegal conduct.
The investigation revealed that between June 2011 and September 2013, Santucci made Western Union transfers of approximately $103,000 to China. Santucci also made credit card purchases of over $28,000 from internet glassware suppliers, including E Bottles.com. Santucci used the purchases to bottle the final products and to label them.
Santucci was accused of providing co-defendant Jason Chickos with steroid orders in the Police Department itself. Santucci and the former Newtown Police civilian dispatcher engaged in the following text message exchange:
Chickos added three bottles of Vanazolol, two bottles of Sustanon, a single bottle of Dianabol, and four bottles of Winstrol to his previous steroid order.
In addition to his salary deposits, Santucci made approximately $244,391.00 in cash deposits into his account with bank tellers, and deposited a further $46,514.00 into his bank account by ATM; these non-salary deposits were the proceeds of narcotic and counterfeit prescription drug sales.
From April 2011 through November 2014, Santucci charged approximately $310,648.92 on two credit cards. Included in his charges were international travel to Europe, South America and Africa along with stays at a Four Seasons Resort, Grand Hyatt and Ritz Carlton hotels. Over $30,000 was for a single African safari for Santucci and his wife, and $25,818 spent on Celebrity Cruises.
An analysis of Santucci’s bank deposits shows that his net take-home salary actually decreased as the conspiracy progressed; relinquishing overtime work for the lavish vacations.
Santucci, who was not the department's spokesman, was quoted in the media after the shootings at Sandy Hook School. The Government's sentencing memo revealed that on December 14, 2012, Santucci was skiing.