A college student, a security guard and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrested as a minor subplot in the federal Biogenesis steroid investigation have avoided trials by agreeing to minimal jail time.
The final defendant, Giovanny Brenes, 35, late last month was sentenced to 33 days in federal custody for conspiring to sell the synthetic club drug known as molly. The ex-security supervisor at Casino Miami Jai-Alai is slated for release Jan. 13.
Jorge Canela, 25, a former Sante Fe Community College student, also pleaded guilty to the same charge. He got 20 days in jail and will be on probation for three years.
Ex-FHP trooper Carlos Luis Ruiz earlier pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to possess the drug. He agreed to credit for time served — just a few hours in federal custody. Ruiz has since been fired from FHP.
The probe stemmed from a federal wiretap on Carlos Acevedo, a partner in the Biogenesis clinic that supplied performance enhancing drugs to professional athletes, including Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.
So far, six of the eight defendants in the federal steroid probe have pleaded guilty in a case that rocked Major League Baseball and led to Rodriguez’s suspension for all of last season.
Federal agents stumbled upon the Molly investigation when wiretaps captured Ruiz calling Acevedo looking to buy mollies in May 2013, according to newly unveiled court records.
Brenes turned to Acevedo and his girlfriend – she left 10 molly pills behind a potted plant on Ruiz’s porch. But DEA agents quickly seized the pills, then watched covertly as Ruiz came home and couldn’t find the stash weighing three grams.
“No, I’m looking, bro, negative,” Ruiz told Acevedo on the phone, according to the wiretap.
Canela, Acevedo’s brother-in-law, was implicated after he turned to Acevedo to help a Gainesville man buy the drug. He later helped corroborate that Acevedo admitting to selling steroids to athletes.
Acevedo, who wound up cooperating with authorities, has since pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute steroids. He will be sentenced March 16.