North Attleboro Resident Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison for Leading Steroid Distribution Conspiracy

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PROVIDENCE – A North Attleboro, MA, resident convicted of leading a conspiracy to import significant quantities of steroids and distribute them across the United States was sentenced Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Providence to six years in federal prison.

David M. Esser, 48, arranged for the importation of raw steroids from international suppliers, primarily based in Hong Kong. The steroids were, at Esser’s direction, shipped directly to various locations in the United States where individuals “cooked” the raw steroid product into liquid form; packaged the final product into pills and vials; and shipped the products to a stash house in North Attleboro. From there, Esser and others shipped the products to customers throughout the United States.

First arrested in February 2020, Esser was arrested for a second time ten months later when,  while awaiting trial, he resumed the sale, packaging, and distribution of anabolic steroids with co-conspirators in Virginia, Texas, and elsewhere in the United States.

“David Esser oversaw every aspect of a sprawling drug operation in which he and his confederates prepared and shipped massive quantities of illegal anabolic steroids throughout the nation, and funneled his profits into real estate, cryptocurrency, and a luxury lifestyle, persisting in his crimes even after his initial arrest and pretrial release,” said U.S. Attorney Cunha. “Not only did his actions put thousands of his customers at risk, but they also reflect a breathtaking disregard for the law, both of which are appropriately answered by the significant sentence meted out by the Court.”

“Esser pursued his criminal enterprise and quest for profit— even after his first arrest in early 2020—trafficking illegal steroids manufactured by the network he oversaw. Complex cases like this require collaboration and HSI is grateful to our partners for their assistance on this case,” said Matthew Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations’ New England Field Office.

Esser pleaded guilty on March 23, 2021, to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids, conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids while on (pre-trial) release, and money laundering. He was sentenced on Tuesday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., to 72 months in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release and a fine of $10,000.

In addition to the fine, Esser will forfeit $414,600 in proceeds realized from his criminal conduct as well as all interest in cryptocurrency that he owns or in which he has an interest.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christine D. Lowell.

United States Attorney Cunha thanks the Homeland Security Investigations Agents in the Providence, Boston, Houston, and Winston-Salem Offices; United States Postal Inspection Service; Alamance County North Carolina Narcotics Enforcement Team; U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation; DEA Agents in Norfolk, Virginia; Rhode Island State Police; and the North Attleboro and Mansfield Police Departments for their assistance in the investigation of this matter and arrest of defendants charged in this matter.

Mr. Cunha also acknowledges and thanks the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia for their valuable assistance in the preparation for the prosecution of this case.

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