Hans Vogel, the 2007 Mr. Ireland bodybuilding champion with the National Amateur Bodybuilders’ Association (NABBA), was a steroid dealer who sold anabolic steroids and other prescription medicines out of his Dublin apartment from as early as 2009 until his arrest in 2015. He could have faced up to 2 years in prison. But he didn’t. The judge decided to give him a second chance by dismissing the case.
Dublin District Court Judge Brennan allowed Vogel to pay a €1,000 donation in order to avoid a criminal conviction. Vogel was permitted to completely avoid jail, to keep the proceeds of his crime and to maintain a squeaky clean criminal record.
This was made possible by the Probation of Offenders Act 1907. The Act gave Judge Brennan wide latitude in deciding the appropriate punishment for Vogel. Judges in Ireland have the freedom to completely and legally dismiss the case if they consider the crime to be of a trivial nature. And Judge Brennan apparently considered steroid trafficking to be trivial. All steroid dealers should be so lucky.
Vogel’s legal problems arose after police executed a court-approved search warrant and raided his apartment on May 26, 2015. The Irish Garda Síochána found a stockpile of Alpha Pharma Healthcare steroid products and other prescription medications. Vogel was apparently a distributor for Alpha Pharma with an extensive inventory of products including the injectable steroid Testobolin (testosterone enanthate); oral steroid tablets Rexobol (stanozolol) and Alphabol (methandienone); and the fat loss drug Astralean (clenbuterol hydrochloride)
The Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) charged Vogel with 18 violations of the Irish Medicine Boards Act of 1995. HPRA enforcement officer Alan Smullen claimed to have documented over €100,000 in proceeds from sales of steroids to customers via the Internet.
HPRA investigators and gardai hit a gold mine of incriminating data when they seized extensive records of customer sales spanning over two years. The handwritten “diaries” from 2014 and 2015 listed customer names, their mailing addresses and the prices for the products they purchased. Law enforcement officials even contacted several of the customers. At least four of Vogel’s customers were asked to given sworn witness statements in which they admitted buying steroids from Vogel.
Vogel ultimately pleaded guilty to only 8 charges. But Vogel might as well pleaded guilty to all of the charges since Judge Brennan dismissed everything.
Boys and girls, sometimes crime does pay.