Area men indicted in alleged steroid, pot ring
Accusation: Performance-enhancing drugs were supplied to high school students
Federal investigators have busted a drug ring that authorities say distributed steroids to high school athletes and others in the Greater Danbury area and was run by a Bethel businessman, according to prosecutors.
The businessman also headed a separate ring that sold more than 220 pounds of marijuana in the Danbury area over a four-year period beginning in January 2007, according to the indictment unsealed in federal court in Bridgeport on Tuesday.
Under arrest are Mark Mansa, 46, of Bethel, who had worked for a credit card payment processing company; Glenn Wagner, 48, of Brookfield, whose home was raided by federal drug agents late last month; Kevin Lubic, 48, of Salem, N.Y., who investigators say is associated with the Hells Angels motorcycle club; and Richard Sciaccetano, of Stuart, Fla., who investigators say has ties to the Bonnano crime family.
Investigators claim Mr. Mansa sold roughly 70 bottles holding 200 milliliters of steroids every month at a price of up to $90 each.
Some of his customers included high school student athletes in the Danbury area, according to federal investigators.
New Milford Superintendent of Schools JeanAnn Paddyfote said Tuesday she knew nothing about the investigation.
"I haven't heard a word. This is the first I'm hearing about this," Dr. Paddyfote said. "We'll see what happens."
Mayor Pat Murphy said she was surprised by the news as well.
"I hope it's not happening here. That's really scary," said the mayor, who added she has not been made aware of a steroid problem in town.
"I don't wish well to pushers," Mayor Murphy said. "Do you know how many lives they could be destroying? I have a very short tolerance for those kind of people."
The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Hartford this month accuses Mr. Mansa of conspiring to distribute the steroids for more than seven years, from January 2004 to February 2011.
It accuses Mr. Mansa of distributing anabolic steroids to a cooperating witness on four occasions in March and June 2010. As a result, he faces six federal charges.
Details of Mr. Mansa's criminal activity, including the steroid sales, are contained in an affidavit compiled by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, lawyers involved in the case said. The affidavit remains sealed from public view.
Mr. Mansa was arrested Feb. 24 during a planned $60,000 marijuana deal, prosecutors said. Days later, agents arrested Mr. Sciaccetano and Mr. Lubic.
DEA agents, assisted by Brookfield and Danbury police, executed a search warrant on Feb. 24 at Mr. Wagner's North Lake Shore Drive home in Brookfield.
Donald Cretella Jr., an attorney representing Mr. Wagner, said his client didn't have anything to do with the distribution of steroids.
Mr. Wagner is facing several charges including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of a sawed-off Mossberg 12-gauge pistol grip that was allegedly used in the marijuana trafficking conspiracy, according to the indictment.
The indictment charges Mr. Sciaccetano and Mr. Lubic, who served a federal prison sentence for trafficking in marijuana, only in the marijuana conspiracy.
The Danbury Police Department has been looking into Mr. Mansa's background for about five years, according to law enforcement sources.
As the investigation grew, Danbury police brought the case to the DEA, which used informants, cooperators and hand-to-hand buys, the sources said.
Danbury Police Chief Al Baker confirmed detectives from the department's Special Investigations Division had been working with DEA agents on a "long-term investigation" for some time, but he declined to say whether it involved the sale of performance-enhancing drugs to high school athletes.
"That would be a concern," Chief Baker said.
A cooperating witness told investigators Mr. Mansa bragged about his police connections, claiming their help kept him out of trouble.
No police officers have been indicted or arrested in connection with the case.
Mr. Mansa is scheduled to be arraigned March 23 before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport.
At that time, according to Peter Schaffer, Mr. Mansa's lawyer, his client will plead not guilty to the charges.
As to the claims of selling steroids to high school athletes and having contacts in some police departments, Mr. Schaffer said, "We deny those allegations."
Mr. Wagner's arraignment, which was originally planned for Tuesday, was continued to Friday at noon.
Judge Fitzsimmons placed several conditions upon his release, including home confinement and a $250,000 unsecured bond.
Mr. Wagner, who appeared frail and tired in court and is reportedly receiving weekly chemotherapy treatments, will be allowed to go to medical appointments during his release.
Mr. Lubic, who is charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, pleaded not guilty to the charge before Judge Fitzsimmons on Tuesday.
Mr. Lubic previously served a 77-month federal prison sentence on conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana charges in New York.
He was released from custody in February 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons -- about the time authorities said the local distribution ring got up and running.
Mr. Lubic was photographed by Life magazine while attending a Sept. 24, 2009, book signing in New York City with Phil Carlo, author of "The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath," actor Mickey Rourke and Chuck Zito, former president of the New York Chapter of the Hells Angels and now an actor.
Mr. Mansa, Mr. Sciaccetano and Mr. Lubic are in custody and being held without bond.
Robert Golger, who represents Mr. Sciaccetano, said his client will plead not guilty to the marijuana conspiracy charge when he is arraigned March 31. Golger denied that his client is associated with the Bonnano crime family.
Sources said authorities have frozen both Mr. Mansa's and Mr. Wagner's bank accounts.
They are also seeking to seize property Mr. Mansa owns on Old Hawleyville Road in Bethel. He purchased the property, which is a little less than an acre according to Bethel land records, for $95,000 last September.
The investigation into the drug ring is continuing.
Staff Writer John Pirro contributed to this report.