Crime

Steroid dealer’s partner sentenced to 3 1/2 years for peddling to MLB pros

Anthony Bosch, the convicted Coral Gables steroid dealer who shook up Major League Baseball, has hogged the spotlight during the federal probe of his ring that sold unlawful muscle-building drugs to pro ballplayers.

Bosch's onetime business buddy, Carlos Acevedo, has drawn far less media attention.

On Friday, Acevedo — who rose from being Bosch’s customer to deliveryman to business partner to starting his own anti-aging clinic — was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison in Miami federal court. Acevedo, 36, must surrender to prison authorities on March 16.

But the Miami-Dade steroid entrepreneur is expected to receive a reduced sentence for cooperating in the high-profile case against others charged with distributing the illicit drug in the Bosch-led network. So far, six of eight defendants have pleaded guilty, including Bosch and Acevedo.

Bosch, who implicated 14 Major League ballplayers as his customers, including New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 17. Bosch’s anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis of America, shut down in early 2013 just before a media report exposed his sale of banned MLB performance-enhancing drugs to Rodriguez and other ballplayers.

Both Bosch and Acevedo could be called by prosecutors to testify at the April trial of Rodriguez’s cousin and former personal assistant, Yuri Sucart, and former University of Miami assistant baseball coach Lazaro “Lazer” Collazo.

At Acevedo’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors Pat Sullivan and Sharad Motiani argued that Acevedo’s prison term should fall between five and six years under federal guidelines, indicating to U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles that recognition of his cooperation was “premature.”

Prosecutors pushed for that range after arguing that Drug Enforcement Administration agents found an unloaded 9 mm firearm in his bedroom — along with testosterone vials — when they carried out a search of his home in June 2013. They argued the weapon was “dangerous” and “present” where Acevedo was conducting some of his illegal steroid business.

But Acevedo’s defense attorney, Martin Beguiristain, countered that a “connection” between the offense and the weapon was “clearly improbable.”

Judge Gayles sided with the defense, but rejected his recommendation for a one-year prison sentence. Under the revised guidelines, Acevedo faced between three and four years in prison. Gayles struck a compromise between those ranges.

Gayles also raised the allegation that Acevedo may have injected young ballplayers at the Biogenesis clinic or in the Dominican Republic, where he traveled to recruit professional prospects. But his defense attorney strongly denied he ever injected any minors in South Florida or on the Caribbean island.

According to a statement filed with his plea agreement in October, Acevedo became a deliveryman for Bosch in late 2009, getting paid $200 to $300 a week. Bosch also had him to pick up testosterone from his local supplier.

“As Acevedo continued to work for Bosch and gained [his] trust, Bosch eventually brought Acevedo into his clinic and taught [him] how to prepare various syringes with testosterone and various vitamins,” according to the statement. “Once Acevedo became comfortable with preparing the syringes, Bosch taught Acevedo how to inject customers with testosterone and other medication.”

Bosch, who posed as a Florida-licensed doctor, eventually brought Acevedo into his steroid business as a partner in late 2010, the statement said. A year later, Acevedo would start his own anti-aging clinic, Revive Miami. He would also work as an anti-aging consultant for a spa in Doral.

In late 2012, Acevedo teamed up with Rodriguez’s former assistant, Sucart, to sell testosterone to an undercover DEA agent and informant through spring of the following year, the statement said. The agent represented that he wanted the steroids for high school athletes in the Northeast, according to investigative records.

During that part of the probe, the DEA recorded cellphone conversations and discovered that Acevedo was also selling the synthetic club drug known as molly. Among his customers: A Florida Highway Patrol trooper, who was eventually fired and convicted of possession.

As part of his steroid deal with the feds, Acevedo pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute molly, too.

Despite his criminal misconduct — Acevedo also has a prior conviction for dealing marijuana — he curried favor with investigators when he agreed to assist them in the steroid probe. Acevedo recorded conversations with one of Bosch’s main steroid suppliers, Jorge Velazquez, who was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Velazquez, who obtained testosterone supplies from a Kendall chemist, started his prison term this week.

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