Florida pharmacy admits to role in steroids ring
Plea ends controversial case for DA Soares
ALBANY A Florida pharmacy accused of being at the center of a steroids and human growth hormone distribution ring pleaded guilty to a felony Friday, Albany County District Attorney’s officials said.
The plea came after a New York State Court of Appeals ruling from November that overturned a lower court’s findings that disqualified the Albany County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case.
In court Friday, Signature Pharmacy pleaded guilty to one count of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Signature agreed as part of the deal to pay a total of $100,000 in fines and civil forfeitures, officials said.
The plea is in full satisfaction of an indictment that also named four individuals, Robert “Stan” Loomis, 61, and Naomi Loomis, 39, both of Windermere, Fla., Loomis’ brother, Kenneth Michael Loomis, 64, former Signature operator; and former Signature business manager Kirk Calvert, 43, also of Windermere.
The plea ends a case that has been ongoing since 2007.
“The resolution of this case marks the conclusion of a long-term investigation and prosecution that held individuals, and now a corporation, accountable for the illegal sale of steroids in Albany County,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement. “I remain committed to closing the pipeline of illegal drugs that flows in to our community and will continue to hold perpetrators accountable when they choose to supply and deliver illegal narcotics into Albany County.”
Soares’ office had been taken off the case by a county court judge who found Soares had a prejudice against the clients because they had filed a civil lawsuit against him related to the case. The state Court of Appeals in November reversed that decision, however, and allowed the prosecution to go forward.
The federal civil lawsuit has since been dismissed and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal. The state Court of Appeals noted the resolution of this case in its ruling as added evidence to support the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court’s decision to allow Soares to prosecute the case.
Soares brought a case against the pharmacy in 2007, alleging it was selling anabolic steroids to professional athletes and entertainers. The indictment initially led to a number of convictions but later became bogged down due to legal wrangling in various courts.