FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Anthony "Tony" Bosch -- co-founder of a clinic in Coral Gables that was at the center of a Major League Baseball steroid scandal --- appeared in federal court Tuesday.
Bosch, 50, turned himself in at Weston's Drug Enforcement Administration regional office Tuesday morning. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute testosterone, federal court records show. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
"He is not a doctor," Miami DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville said. "He is a drug dealer."
Bosch is accused of distributing the anabolic steroid from October 2008 through December 2012. Bosch's former "wellness" and "anti-aging" Biogenesis of America clinic, 1390 S. Dixie Hwy., in Coral Gables promoted itself as specializing in weight loss. Bosch was not a licensed physician.
DOCUMENT: Read the federal charges
United States Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said Tuesday Bosch's clinic was linked to providing "dangerous drugs" to high school athletes in public and private schools in South Florida.
"Some of these parents thought that Bosch was a doctor," Ferrer said.
The Florida Department of Health fined Bosch $5,000 in 2013 for portraying himself as a doctor. The kids paid from $250 to $600 a month for the drugs, Trouville said. Professional athletes were paying up to $12,000 a month, Ferrer said.
Ferrer said Bosch was also involved in a plot to distribute steroids to aspiring MLB baseball players in the Dominican Republic.
"These youngsters had no idea what they were putting into their bodies," Trouville said.
DEA agents also arrested nine of his associates Tuesday, DEA spokeswoman Mia Ro and Ferrer said. Four of them, including a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, were involved in distributing the popular nightclub drug Molly, a form of ecstasy, Trouville said.
Authorities identified six of the nine arrested as A-Rod's cousin Yuri Sucart, 52; Bosch's associate Carlos Javier Acevedo, 35; Jorge Augustine Velazquez, 43; Christopher Benjamin Engroba, 25; baseball coach Lazaro Daniel Collazo, 50, and Juan Carlos Nuñez, 48.
Bosch's clinic was also linked to entertainers and professional athletes from other sports such as basketball, boxing, tennis and MMA. Other closed South Florida clinics linked to Biogenesis included Revive Miami and Biokem.
Authorities said the investigation of Biogenesis remained active Tuesday and more arrests in the case were expected.
HOW THE SCANDAL BEGAN
His father, Dr. Pedro Publio Bosch, wrote a prescription for a performance-enhancing drug known as human chorionic gonadotropin, (hCG) for Manny Ramirez, ESPN reported June 25, 2009.
The probe started after Ramirez tested positive for high levels of testosterone and was subsequently suspended.
The main MLB scandal began after a January 29, 2013 report on the Miami New Times. The report said clinic records showed Alex Rodriguez had bought steroids from Biogenesis from 2009 to 2012. Bosch's former associate Porter Fischer gave Miami New Times the documents, because he was "upset" with Bosch over an "unpaid investment."
Publio Bosch, who practiced medicine at 2601 SW 37th Ave., in Coral Gables, denied the allegations ESPN and Miami New Times made.
Ferrer said Tuesday that Bosch had forged prescriptions.
The MLB was the only one to investigate the claims by filing a lawsuit against the clinic to get a subpoena for clinic records. Attorneys later withdrew the lawsuit.
The list of players the MLB suspended who were linked to Biogenesis included Ryan Braun, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera.
Rodriguez fought the MLB suspension until February. He was the only one to contest the MLB penalty that he is currently serving.
The clinic was also suspected of prescribing regimens of growth hormone, a female fertility drug, testosterone and other steroids,Trouville said.
THE STEROID ERA
James "Pud" Galvin was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame 63 years after his death. The Washington Post reported in 1889 that he consumed the "Brown-Sequard elixir," a fluid prepared from the testicles of monkey.
Other players who were linked to steroids scandals unrelated to Biogenesis include Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens. Jose Canseco once estimated that 80 percent of players of his era were using steroids.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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