Four people, including two former Weston residents, have been charged with a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute steroids with raw materials purchased from China, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday in Kansas City.
Aaron Vincent Schweidler, 31, Michael G. Peters, 27, Samuel C. Miller IV, 29, and Nicole R. Lyne, 26, also are charged with money laundering and identity theft.
Schweidler and Lyne are of Smithfield, N.C., and formerly of Weston. Peters is of Pelham, N.H., and Miller is of Annapolis, Md. Schweidler, Lyne and Peters were in custody. Miller remained at large Thursday.
According to the indictment, the $2.25 million conspiracy began in 2011 and involved distributing anabolic steroids, a controlled substance, to athletes, minors and others across the United States through an Internet company called Power Trip.
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The conspirators allegedly required buyers to send payment for the steroids by way of debit cards like Green Dot MoneyPak, Blackhawk and Western Union. The conspirators allegedly stole the identities of other people to give their customers access to the debit cards.
According to the indictment, more than $188,000 was sent to China by way of MoneyGram and WesternUnion to purchase raw materials and other supplies to manufacture steroids, which were shipped through the U.S. Postal Service to the post office at 6304 N.W. Barry Road.
One of the packages, with a Kansas City return address for an electronics and game store, was searched with a federal warrant and found to contain vials marked “PowerTrip.” Laboratory analysis indicated the vials contained steroids.
The government is seeking $2.25 million from the defendants.