Dave Palumbo, the owner of RxMuscle and Species Nutrition, has made a surprisingly generous commitment to a convicted felon who operated a clandestine underground laboratory to sell counterfeit anabolic steroids under the Onyx Pharmaceuticals label. Palumbo made the promise in a letter to the judge overseeing the case of Tyler Baumann (aka Musclehead320).
In the letter, Palumbo told Senior United States District Judge Douglas Woodlock that he would take Musclehead320 under his wing and mentor him following Baumann’s release from prison. Palumbo is convinced that he can teach Musclehead320 how to use his skills to make money as a law-abiding citizen.
If anyone can help Baumann assimilate as a productive member of society, Palumbo is a good choice. Palumbo was convicted of possession with intent to distribute human growth hormone and served a brief stint in prison as a result back in 2004. Since then, Palumbo has become one of the more successful businessmen in the bodybuilding and fitness community.
“Although I have never met him in person, I am familiar with Tyler Baumann’s background and current legal predicament. I am providing my guidance and support to him t help him succeed in the online training space after completion of his sentence. I am committed to helping him maximize his knowledge and succeed in the industry. His ability has garnered him over 30,000 Instagram followers prior to engaging in selling steroids suggests to me that he has impressive skills in online marketing. If he applies those skills lawfully, I think he can do quite well.”
One of the most interesting parts of Palumbo’s letter is his assertion that Baumann’s involvement in illegal steroid distribution will not be a “barrier to his success in the fitness industry”. Palumbo is correct. The industry, and particularly the sports nutrition industry, is full of convicted steroid and drug dealers who have succeeded by peddling dietary supplements often of questionable legality and/or effectiveness. Only time will tell if Judge Woodlock considers this a good thing.
“I know that Tyler Baumann is a convicted felon. I can attest that a felony conviction will not be a barrier to his success in the fitness industry. I myself was charged with and convicted of a federal felony involving performance-enhancing drugs. I served federal prison time. But I overcame my mistakes and bad choices. I wrote a bodybuilding and training book while serving my time. After I was released, I applied my skills and knowledge toward developing legitimate businesses. Like Tyler, I was very entrepreneurial and already had a large online following. I used this popularity to create my legitimate companies, and have been able to create a life for myself that is more than I could ever have dreamed of.”
Baumann is considered a career criminal by the U.S. criminal justice system. Prosecutors have asked the judge to sentence him to over 10 years in prison as a repeat offender. Baumann’s attorneys are desperately seeking leniency as low as 5 years imprisonment. Baumann doesn’t have much going for him other than Palumbo’s offer of assistance.
Baumann hopes that Judge Woodlock will consider the fact that he has three young children under the age of 15. Baumann will be devastated if he is forced to miss the entirety of his children’s formative years by serving an onerous 10+ year prison sentence. Baumann’s childhood was awful and he hopes that he can still help offer his children a better start in life than he had.
Baumann’s fate will be decided by Judge Woodlock on March 15, 2018.