Crime

Miami-Dade garage chemist sentenced to 1 1/2 years in baseball steroid case

South Florida’s “Breaking Bad” chemist who supplied steroids to an anti-aging clinic at the center of a pro baseball scandal was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison on Wednesday.

Paulo Berejuk cooked up testosterone in his Kendall garage that was sold to Major League Baseball stars, including New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez.

Berejuk faced between 1 1/2 and 2 years in prison under federal guidelines at his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga.

Prosecutors Pat Sullivan and Sharad Motiani recommended the low end of those guidelines, but the defendant’s attorney, Robert Barrar, asked for an even shorter prison term — to no avail.

The judge ordered Berejuk, who apologized during his sentencing in Miami federal court, to surrender Wednesday afternoon to prison authorities. As part of his plea agreement, the chemist admitted selling between 5,000 and 10,000 units of testosterone from 2007 to 2013.

After he pleaded guilty in December, the judge had granted the 51-year-old Brazilian citizen a $150,000 bond without having to wear an electronic monitor. He agreed to cooperate with authorities and must turn over his 32-foot Intrepid motorboat to the U.S. government.

Berejuk is among six defendants who have pleaded guilty to a distribution-conspiracy charge since the case was filed last August.

Two remaining defendants are scheduled for trial in early April.

Berejuk, a low-profile figure in a high-profile criminal case that embarrassed baseball, was the steroid supplier for two business partners in the Coral Gables anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis of America, and for the owner of another local clinic, Boca Body.

Anthony Bosch, the ringleader, Carlos Acevedo, the Biogenesis partner, and Jorge Velazquez, a key steroid supplier who owned Boca Body, all have pleaded guilty.

Bosch and Acevedo helped federal authorities target Berejuk, who was arrested in October.

According to court records, Miami-Dade physician Carlos Nazier introduced Bosch to the steroid chemist in 2007.

Nazier, who was a onetime partner with Bosch, had used Berejuk as his supplier before he was convicted of illicitly selling steroids and lost his medical license.

According to Bosch, “Berejuk had considerable knowledge of chemistry and was capable of manufacturing controlled substances out of raw materials” in his garage in suburban Kendall, court records show.

Bosch purchased testosterone and human growth hormones from Berejuk, paying him $20,000 a month between 2007 and 2011, records show.

Bosch, in his plea agreement, admitted distributing steroids to MLB players, high school athletes and others. Earlier this month, Bosch was sentenced to four years in prison by U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments