Three Philadelphia police officers have been arrested and charged with 12 others for allegedly operating a steroids and human growth hormone ring through the Internet and local gyms.
Federal prosecutors claim Detective Keith Gidelson, the alleged ring leader, ordered shipments of the substances from Europe and China and conspired with his wife Kirsten, officers George Sambuca and Joseph McIntyre Jr., and the other defendants to distribute them and solicit customers.
According to the indictment, Keith Gidelson had the shipments sent to California where they were repackaged and sent to his home and a rented mailbox at a UPS store. The group allegedly worked together since September 2009.
“The co-conspirators were selling a lot of steroids in the Philadelphia area and they were selling it at gyms,” said lead prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney David Axelrod. He declined to say how much money the defendants made from the operation.
Twelve of the 15 defendants were released on their own recognizance. Keith Gidelson will have a bail hearing next week, while two other defendants have yet to appear in court.
Gidelson and McIntyre, both 14-year veterans, and Sambuca, a two-year veteran, were all suspended with the intent to dismiss.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey called it a dark day for the department.
“It’s another dark day for our department, but one that certainly does not reflect the good work that goes on every single day by the men and women of this department,” Ramsey said.