Johnson City woman receives probation for dealing steroids

Pamela Sue Little and Michael Wayne Vanleeuwen were charged in a one-count information in U.S. District Court in Greeneville with possession with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids.

Both agreed to plead guilty in March 2016. Earlier this year, Vanleeuwen was sentenced to four months probation. On Wednesday, Little was sentenced to three years probation.

The pair faced two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.

Court records say Little, Vanleeuwen and 20 other co-conspirators were involved in a three-year operation to manufacture and distribute more than $1.5 million worth of anabolic steroids.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of testosterone and, though prescribed at times to treat hormonal issues, some athletes and bodybuilders use the drugs to boost performance and improve their appearance.

According to court records, the illegal drug conspiracy took place in Johnson City from January 2012 through July 2015, with those involved in the operation obtaining raw steroid products from overseas suppliers, primarily those in China.

The raw materials were paid for mainly by international wire transfers and shipped to Johnson City by commercial shippers and the U.S. Postal Service. Prosecutors say the conspirators utilized a series of clandestine labs to manufacture the raw steroids into usable products. A variety of steroid products were manufactured.

The labs were concealed within an assortment of area residences, which were owned or rented by members of the conspiracy, court records state. To sell the steroids, the conspirators operated a series of semi-secure websites where customers would pay via money order, wire transfer or with electronic money such as BitCoin.

Prosecutors say to further the drug conspiracy, the conspirators also engaged in money laundering, converting the money orders to cash. According to the plea…

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