Ex-Dallas Cowboys Lineman Nabbed In Steroid Ring

By John Lavitt 11/07/14

Brian Clarke had quite a year after being waved in August, cut from the team in October, and busted for drugs that same month.

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Pennsylvania state prosecutors in Harrisburg revealed the mass arrest of participants in a criminal mail-order steroid ring that included ex-Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Brian Clarke, as well as several prison guards.

Although the Cowboys signed Clarke earlier this year as a free agent, he was cut from the team in August after being slowed by a groin injury. The state attorney general’s office announced charges against a total of 13 people, including Pennsylvania prison guards and a probation officer.

After playing at Bloomsburg University, the Cowboys signed Clarke as a free agent after he failed to be picked by a team in the NFL draft. He actually remained on the Cowboys roster until early October when his injury settlement became official. The charges against Clarke include the possession and delivery of anabolic steroids.

Besides Clarke, the mail-order steroids ring included prison guards that worked at county facilities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The drug ring was described in a police affidavit as “an ongoing, sophisticated and comprehensive criminal organization.” After buying the raw materials from China, the defendants are accused of assembling them into pills or injectable form.

The suspects will be prosecuted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section. The investigation was dubbed "Operation Gym Candy" by investigators, which began in April of 2013.

"It is particularly troubling that five of the people who participated in these rings have been entrusted by our citizens with overseeing parolees or guarding prisoners," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane in a statement. "They worked every day with individuals who are paying the price for breaking the law…It is shameful that they decided to break the law themselves."

A search of an apartment in Bloomsburg in June produced thousands of steroid pills and capsules, hundreds of vials that held liquid anabolic steroids, raw steroids, illegal prescription painkillers, shipping materials, and chemical lab equipment. Another search of a defendant’s home in Berwick found much of the same, as well as $445,000 cash in a basement safe.

The attorney general’s office said some members of the ring used the steroids themselves. In addition, investigators believe the prescription painkillers were used to address the pain from intensive weightlifting and extreme workouts.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.