A Turlock lawyer and professional bodybuilder has pleaded guilty to charges that he illegally imported steroids from China for nearly two years.
Erik Harald Moje, 40, entered his guilty plea Monday in U.S. District Court and is scheduled for sentencing May 17.
The court records show that Moje unlawfully purchased and obtained anabolic steroids from a supplier in China from Dec. 1, 2013 to Sept. 1, 2015. Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone. They are regulated under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule III controlled substance and may not be possessed lawfully in the United States without a prescription.
Investigators found encrypted emails of shipment documents and the purchasing money being deposited into the bank account for the Law Office of Eric Moje. According to the Department of Justice, Moje routed shipments of steroids through a UPS mail-forwarding service in New York, as well as private citizens in other parts of the country.
In May 2015, agents intercepted one of Moje’s parcels that contained one kilogram of steroids, which equates to 40,000 dosage units.
In September 2015, the agents executed a search warrant at Moje’s Turlock residence, where they found a large quantity of steroids. Behind a false wall in the garage, they found 538 10milliliter vials containing liquid anabolic steroids, which equates to 10,760 dosage units, and 17,700 steroid capsules, which equates to 17,700 dosage units. They also seized $29,925 in cash from the residence.
In pleading guilty, Moje agreed to the forfeiture of his Turlock home. The seized cash and a BMW were previously forfeited.
This case is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation. The case was also part of Operation Cyber Juice, a nationwide initiative targeting domestic and international steroid trafficking organizations. Agencies involved in this investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Turlock Police Department and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Kevin C. Khasigian are prosecuting the case.
Moje faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court.