Four sentenced to a total of 16 years for steroid distribution, money laundering
Ponca City Now - June 18, 2019 2:10 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Four defendants have been sentenced for their roles in a steroid-distribution and money-laundering ring, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
Christopher Thomas Caplinger, 56, of Edmond, Oklahoma; Donald Ray Vincent Jr., 55, of Edmond; Deborah Ann Crawford, 48, of Oklahoma City; and Michael Brandon Schott, 36, of Newport News, Virginia, were sentenced between April 23 and June 17, 2019, to a total of 16 years in prison, in addition to forfeiture of a total of $387,216 seized during the investigation and a total of $840,000 in money judgments.
On March 20, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a 23-count indictment against all four defendants. In addition to allegations of illegally conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids, a Schedule III controlled substance, the indictment charged distribution of steroids to an undercover officer, manufacturing of steroids, maintaining a drug-involved premises, a conspiracy to commit money laundering, and international money laundering. According to the indictment, Caplinger, Vincent, and Crawford concealed the proceeds of their illegal activity by depositing money into bank accounts in the names of third parties and storing bulk cash at residences, including approximately $250,000 buried in Caplinger’s back yard. The indictment alleged that from April 2015 until November 2017, Caplinger rented space at 8201 North Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing steroids. It also alleged that Caplinger and Crawford transferred funds to China to conceal their crimes.
All four defendants pleaded guilty during the fall of 2018. Caplinger and Vincent admitted they manufactured anabolic steroids and conspired to launder the proceeds. Crawford pleaded guilty to the money-laundering conspiracy, and Schott admitted to conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids.
On June 17, 2019, U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk sentenced Caplinger to nine years—108 months—in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. In addition, Caplinger was ordered to forfeit $287,743 seized by law enforcement and to pay a $740,000 money judgment that reflects additional proceeds from this illegal activity. Caplinger was taken into custody to begin immediate service of his sentence.
The remaining three defendants have also been sentenced. On April 23, 2019, Vincent was ordered to serve 36 months’ imprisonment and two years’ supervised release. In addition, Vincent was ordered to forfeit $99,473 seized by law enforcement and to pay a $100,000 money judgment that reflects additional proceeds, distinct from Caplinger’s proceeds, he earned in this illegal activity. On April 24, 2019, Schott was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release, while Crawford was sentenced on May 29, 2019, to 30 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release.
These convictions are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kerry Blackburn and David McCrary prosecuted the case.