MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A South Florida man accused of manufacturing testosterone for Anthony Bosch appeared in federal court on Thursday afternoon.
The judged order Paulo Berejuk, 50, to be held without bond for his alleged role in the MLB drug scandal.
On Tuesday, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested and charged Berejuk with conspiracy to distribute testosterone and human growth hormones, both controlled substances.
A DEA affidavit describes Berejuk as a “black market source” for testosterone to clinics whose customers included MLB players. The affidavit said Berejuk is a chemist who made the substances in his garage and was the initial main supplier to Bosch, former owner of the now-shutdown Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables.
His arrest was the latest in the MLB drug scandal that resulted in 14 player suspensions, including the record season-long suspension of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.
Felony drug charges have been brought against a half-dozen people connected with the clinics, including Bosch and a cousin of Rodriguez’s, Yuri Sucart. No players have been charged.
Bosch pleaded guilty last week to drug charges and is cooperating with investigators in hopes of getting a lenient prison sentence.
In the DEA affidavit, Bosch identified Berejuk as his first source of testosterone beginning in 2007.
Bosch frequently visited Berejuk’s home in southwest Miami-Dade County and was paying up to $20,000 a month for the illicit supplies over a four-year period, according to the DEA.
“Berejuk concocted the controlled substances in the residence’s garage,” read the DEA affidavit. “Berejuk had considerable knowledge of chemistry and was capable of manufacturing controlled substances out of raw materials.”
In 2011, Bosch began obtaining testosterone from another conspirator, Jorge Velazquez.
Velazquez, who pleaded guilty October 10th for his role in the drug conspiracy, had taken over a portion of Berejuk’s substance-supply business, the affidavit said.
Berejuk told other confidential DEA sources that he had his own lab for making what he called “meds” and stored drug-making equipment at a local warehouse. That source saw vials of drugs in a refrigerator at Berejuk’s home.
In an attempt to gain his release on bail, Berejuk attorney Robert Barrar noted the high-profile nature of the case and pointed out that Berejuk traveled to Brazil as recently as this summer and returned to the U.S. each time.
“He’s gone out of the country and come back knowing he might be arrested,” Barrar said. “All we’re asking for is some kind of reasonable bond.”
But the judge was unmoved, noting that Berejuk still has family in Brazil where he could seek refuge.
The two drug distribution conspiracy charges against Berejuk carry a combined maximum 15-year prison sentence. No trial date has been set.
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