Newtown Police sergeant pleads guilty to heading steroid manufacturing ring

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Courtesy of Newtown Bee

Courtesy of Newtown Bee

NEWTOWN–Newtown’s former police chief, and the head of an eight-person conspiracy that involved a massive steroid manufacturing and distribution scheme has pleaded guilty.

Steven Santucci, 39, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and one count of conspiracy to launder money.

Santucci was one of 12 people arrested in April as part of Operation Juice Box, according to the Department of Justice, which investigated the case with the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the ATF.

Santucci was hired as a probationary police officer on Nov. 17, 2000, and was promoted to sergeant on Jan. 1, 2012. He makes approximately $81,540 per year.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a series of wiretaps and instances witnessed by officers following the case revealed the structure of the drug distribution scheme: Sgt. Santucci allegedly obtained shipments of steroids from China starting in 2011, and also manufactured and distributed his own steroids. He then provided the drugs to distributors, who sold them.

Santucci then used more than $120,000 from the sale of the steroids to wire payments to foreign sellers of ingredients to make liquid anabolic steroids and to purchase drug manufacturing materials from domestic companies.

Officers seized hundreds of vials of steroids, 600 grams of raw testosterone powder, 350 grams of powder cocaine and four long guns during the raid in April.

In all, 12 were arrested in connection to the scheme. Here are a list of some of the other individuals who were arrested:

  • Jason Chickos, 46, of Bridgeport, who is a civilian dispatcher for the Newtown Police Department
  • Jeffrey Gentile, 33, of Ansonia, who is a judicial marshal for the state of Connecticut
  • Alex Kenyhercz, 28, of Ansonia
  • Mark Bertanza, 33, of Shelton
  • Frank Pecora, 53, of Derby
  • Steven Fernandes, 54, of Southington
  • Michael D. Mase, 32, of Sherman

Santucci will be sentenced March 3, 2016, and he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.