Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Texas Man Sentenced for Role in Scheme that Imported Steroids from China for Online Sale

 BOSTON – A Texas man was sentenced on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in federal court in Boston for his role in a scheme that imported raw steroids from China and selling them over the internet to customers across the United States.

Mark Lopilato, 57, of Sanger, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf to 41 months in prison and four years of supervised release. In February 2018, Lopilato pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids. In April 2019, he failed to appear for his sentencing, and was subsequently arrested in September 2019. At the time of his arrest, Lopilato was in possession of counterfeit identification in another individual’s name but bearing his photograph.

From January 2016 to September 2016, an undercover agent purchased steroids listed for sale on a website that advertised various types of steroids for sale. The website provided instructions on how to place orders and pay for steroids, and further provided an email address operated by Lopilato.

Customers ordered steroids from Lopilato who forwarded the orders by email to co-conspirators Rhonda Fulton and Michael Fulton, who processed and prepared raw steroids according to the customers’ orders, packaged and mailed them. Lopilato and the Fultons ordered the raw steroids through the internet from China, then paid for and received the raw steroids by mail. Lopilato paid the Fultons for the preparation, packaging and mailing of the steroids to customers; he also paid his brother and co-conspirator, Michael Lopilato, to maintain and operate the website.

In January 2017, the Fultons and Lopilatos were arrested and charged for their roles in the steroid scheme. Searches recovered more than 60,000 dosage units of raw steroids, a tableting machine, steroid packaging and shipping materials, and approximately $20,000 in cash. The website used by Lopilato to advertise the steroids was also seized.

Michael Fulton and Rhonda Fulton pleaded guilty and were sentenced by Judge Wolf to time served, three years and two years of supervised release, respectively, in May 2019.

Michael Lopilato pleaded guilty and was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to one year of probation and was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $2,000 in August 2018.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Joshua McCallister, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Douglas Bartlett, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; North Reading Police Chief Michael P. Murphy; North Andover Police Chief Charles Gray; and Burlington Police Chief Thomas Browne made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Ferguson, Acting Chief of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Weinstein, also of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, prosecuted the case.

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