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Steroid bust juices cops

VIENNA – A Vienna man was arrested Thursday and one man in Ravenswood on Wednesday for their alleged parts in what officials are calling an international drug operation.

Byron J. Moore, 44, of 4615 Eighth Ave., Vienna, was arrested Thursday morning on one felony charge of manufacturing or possessing with intent to distribute a schedule III controlled substance, said an agent with the Parkersburg Violent Crimes and Narcotics Task Force.

The substance in this case is anabolic steroids, the agent said.

The agent’s name is being withheld to protect his identity due to his dangerous line of work.

Moore was arraigned before Wood County Magistrate Brenda Marshall and was able to post a $10,000 bond.

Officials with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency’s Tactical Diversion Squad, the Parkersburg Violent Crimes and Narcotics Task Force, Vienna Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office performed a search warrant at 4615 Eighth Ave., Vienna, around 7 a.m. Thursday, the agent said.

Moore, another adult and a juvenile were at the residence at the time of the search warrant, the agent said.

Inside the Vienna home, officers discovered what was described as “a sophisticated manufacturing process in the basement,” the agent said.

The basement was filled with over 1,200 vials of suspected anabolic steroids, over 5,300 capsules of suspected anabolic steroids, and more than 7,000 milliliters of suspected liquid steroid product in glass bottles.

Also in the basement were an incubator, packaging, empty capsules, printed labels, mailing boxes, measuring equipment, recipes of an unspecified nature, temperature conversion charts, personal protective equipment, and other items associated with the distribution of suspected anabolic steroids, officials said.

The approximate street value of the suspected steroids was more than $200,000, the agent said.

Officers also located an unspecified amount of marijuana in Moore’s home, described as less than a felony amount. At least $2,500 in cash was found in the home, officials said.

Officials said they believe Moore is part of an international anabolic steroid operation, which included suspects in Jackson and Mason counties in West Virginia, and Meigs County in Ohio.

The human growth hormones used in creating the steroids are believed to originate from countries in Asia, which were then shipped to the United States using the U.S. Postal Service, the agent said.

From the equipment located in Moore’s basement, officials believe he was manufacturing the anabolic steroids and then shipping them out from his home. The Internet is believed to be a factor in the ordering process, said the agent.

Moore is believed to be getting his human growth hormone shipments from other people throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond, the agent said.

The search warrant for Moore’s Vienna home stemmed from an arrest in Ravenswood on Wednesday in which the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency was also involved, said Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs.

Dwaine A. Barley, 51, hometown not specified, was arrested in Ravenswood on Wednesday after a traffic stop, Boggs said.

Barley was arraigned on unspecified charges and failed to post a $250,000 bond.

Investigators with the Drug Enforcement Agency tracked a package allegedly containing human growth hormone from when it entered the United States from an Asian country to its final destination, a post office in Ravenswood, Boggs said.

Drug Enforcement Agency officers worked with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to observe when the package was picked up. After it was, a traffic stop was performed on the vehicle carrying the package.

Barley was found to be the owner of the package and was arrested, Boggs said.

Another package allegedly containing human growth hormone was intercepted in Mason County and yet another in Meigs County, Boggs said.

Officials believe that the people who receive these packages deliver them to Moore, who uses the substance to create the anabolic steroids and then ships them out to customers.

Search warrants were executed throughout Wood, Jackson, Mason and Meigs counties within 40 hours, said Boggs. Information from Mason and Meigs counties was not available Friday evening.