11th defendant in Blackstone case convicted of fraud and distributing controlled substances

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image © Creativeye99 / Getty Images
Image © Creativeye99 / Getty Images

Related tags SARMs Fda

Another defendant in the Blackstone Labs steroids enforcement action was convicted in a Florida court last week.

James Boccuzzi, 37, of Boca Raton, FL, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and could face 15 years in prison.

Boccuzzi is the 11th defendant convicted in connection with Blackstone Labs LLC, a Boca Raton company that sold millions of dollars of products labeled as dietary supplements.

The original 14-count indictment​ was handed down by a grand jury in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 2019, alleging that the defendants sold products that contained anabolic steroids and other illegal ingredients. The list of illegal ingredients contained in the products included SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators), pro-hormones, the synthetic stimulants DMAA, DMBA, and “nootropic” picamilon, which has been ruled by FDA to not be a legal dietary ingredient.

Evidence presented at trial established that the steroid products sold by Blackstone Labs and affiliated companies became illegal controlled substances in December 2014 under a new federal law, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act, which amended the Controlled Substances Act.

Evidence at trial established that despite knowing about the law and its impact on the legality of Blackstone’s steroid products, Boccuzzi, who was Blackstone’s director of sales, and his co-conspirators continued selling the products for more than 18 months.

“It is illegal to sell drugs and controlled substances as dietary supplements,”​ said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department will work with its law enforcement partners to prosecute individuals and companies that market potentially dangerous products, such as designer steroids, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.”  

“Products mislabeled as dietary supplements can pose a serious risk to the health of U.S. consumers,”​ said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) Miami Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who jeopardize the public health by selling violative products.”

Boccuzzi was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals following trial, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 17, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the Southern District of Florida. Boccuzzi faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

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