The man behind Alpha Labz came to the attention of federal authorities when when he imported pill press components from China.
John Kestel, the owner and operator of the underground laboratory that manufactured “Alpha Labz” branded anabolic steroids, was sentenced to five years in prison on November 15, 2019.
Kestel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distributed anabolic steroids (a Schedule III controlled substance) from at least December 2015 through June 2017.
The DEA launched an investigation after learning that John Kestel purchased a pill press.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation into Kestel in April 2017. The DEA had been alerted by “multiple investigative agencies” that Kestel had purchased a TDP1.5 Single punch tablet press machine from China.
The DEA received information that Kestel received various pill press components along with binding agents used in the tableting process. The shipments were addressed to two addresses linked to Kestel.
The first address was a private mail box at The UPS Store in Springfield, Virginia. The PMB was leased by Kestel. Kestel received numerous parcels at the PMB from Chinese companies suspected of manufacturing controlled substances according to customs shipping records.
The second address was a private townhome that served as Kestel’s primary residence. Kestel manufactured Alpha Labz branded steroids in the basement of his Springfield townhome.
The clandestine underground lab almost took over the entire basement. One room was set up primarily for the manufacture of oral steroids and oral ancillary drugs. The second room was used to manufacture injectable steroids; it was also used to package and ship finished products.
Kestel marketed Alpha Labz on the Internet and various social media websites, including Facebook. He referred all social media inquiries to a password-protected website where he accepted steroid orders. Customers paid for their steroids via Venmo, Paypal and Bitcoin.
Kestel conspired with at least three other people. The first person, identified only as uncharged co-conspirator number one (UCC-1), lived in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The UCC-1 apparently received raw steroid powder and also shipped finished product to customers on behalf of Kestel.
The other two con-conspirators worked as resellers for Alpha Labz. One reseller decided to cooperate with DEA agents and acted as a “confidential source”. The reseller identified another Alpha Labz reseller in Fort Worth, Texas named Andrew Kavoian.
Only two individuals associated with Alpha Labz have been charged in connection with steroid trafficking. And only Kestel has been sentenced to prison at the time of publication.
DOJ. (November 15, 2019). Alexandria Man Sentenced to Prison for Distributing Anabolic Steroids. Retrieved from justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/alexandria-man-sentenced-prison-distributing-anabolic-steroids