MIAMI (AP) — U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Tuesday arrested a South Florida man suspected of manufacturing and supplying banned performance-enhancing drugs to clinics that distributed them to Major League Baseball players and other athletes.
A DEA criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday charges Paulo Berejuk with conspiracy to distribute testosterone. An initial court hearing for Berejuk was delayed until Thursday, and his attorney and family members declined comment.
A DEA affidavit describes Berejuk as a “black market source” for testosterone to clinics whose customers included MLB players. The affidavit says Berejuk is a chemist who made the substances in his garage and was the initial main supplier to Anthony Bosch, former owner of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables.
The arrest is the latest in the recent MLB drug scandal that resulted in 14 player suspensions, including the record season-long suspension of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Felony drug charges have been brought against a half-dozen people connected with the clinics, including Bosch and a cousin of Rodriguez’s, Yuri Sucart. No players have been charged.
Bosch pleaded guilty last week to drug charges and is cooperating with investigators in hopes of getting a lenient prison sentence. In the DEA affidavit, he is identified as “CS1,” short for “confidential source 1,” and told DEA agents that Berejuk was his first source of testosterone beginning in 2007.
Bosch frequently visited Berejuk’s home in southwest Miami-Dade County, according to the DEA. Bosch was paying up to $20,000 a month for the illicit supplies over a four-year period.
“Berejuk concocted the controlled substances in the residence’s garage,” the DEA affidavit says. “Berejuk had considerable knowledge of chemistry and was capable of manufacturing controlled substances out of raw materials.”
In 2011, Bosch began obtaining testosterone from another conspirator, Jorge Velazquez. Velazquez, who pleaded guilty Oct. 10 for his role in the drug conspiracy, had taken over a portion of Berejuk’s substance-supply business but still got some of the drugs from Berejuk, the affidavit says.
Berejuk told other confidential DEA sources that he had his own lab for making what he called “meds” and stored drug-making equipment at a local warehouse. That source saw vials of drugs in a refrigerator at Berejuk’s home.
The charge against Berejuk carries a maximum 10-year federal prison sentence. Federal prosecutors say they will ask that Berejuk be jailed without bail until his trial as a risk of flight and a danger to the community. A bail hearing will also be held Thursday.