Kurt Tandberg, affectionately known by his friends as “Big Daddy Tandberg” and “Ghost Tandberg”, was once a big-time heroin and methamphetamine dealer in Kentucky. He was busted and sentenced to 20 years in state prison on June 4 2014. He was given a second chance when he was paroled after only serving three years on October 13, 2017.
Tandberg was determined to make the most of his second chance when he picked up the pieces and moved to New Jersey for a fresh start at a new life in late 2017. He rented an apartment with a friend on the New Jersey side of the New York Metropolitan Area. Tandberg then proceeded to set up a clandestine underground laboratory (UGL) in order to manufacture anabolic steroids.
Tandberg barely had time to import some raw steroid powder from China and acquire a pill press before the Vernon Township Police Department (VTPD) suspected Tandberg of selling illegal drugs. Tandberg made it exceedingly easy by drawing too much attention upon himself. Tandberg tragically sabotaged his dreams of operating an illicit steroid lab when his girlfriend experienced a drug overdose after he gave her a “bump of heroin” laced with fentanyl on June 11, 2018.
VTPD investigators obtained and executed a search warrant on Tandberg’s apartment within 24 hours according to an affidavit signed by VTPD detective Keith Curry. The police found a clandestine laboratory with a pill press, approximately 50 grams of oxymetholone (Anadrol) powder, 100 capsules containing Anadrol, 1500 empty capsules and a digital scale. Tandberg apparently did not even have the chance to use his brand new pill press.
And just like that, Tandberg’s big city dreams of becoming a major domestic steroid source were shattered. Facing extradition back to Kentucky on parole violations to serve the remainder of his 20-year prison sentence for heroin trafficking, Tandberg agreed to pleaded guilty to charges related to steroid manufacturing.
New Jersey Assistant Prosecutor Jerome Neidhardt agreed to drop any heroin trafficking charges related to the girlfriend’s drug overdose in exchange Tandberg pleading guilty to first-degree maintaining and operating a controlled dangerous substance facility (anabolic steroids laboratory). In addition, New Jersey prosecutors recommended a 10-year prison sentence during which Tandberg would be eligible for parole after 40 months.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge William J. McGovern III will decide Tandberg’s fate during a sentencing hearing scheduled for September 7, 2018.
The barriers to entry for the steroid UGL business are so low that practically anyone can import steroid powder from China and start pumping out their own brand of steroids. But just because they can do it does not mean they should do it. Tandberg’s case is a prime example of this.