VA: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Pleads Guilty to Participating in Multi-State Anabolic Steroid Trafficking Network

DOJ Press Release –

Eckert was charged with receiving wholesale quantities of anabolic steroids from a drug trafficking organization and then selling the steroids to others, including fellow servicemembers.

NORFOLK, Va. – Today, a Jacksonville, Florida man was the sixth and final defendant to enter a guilty plea for his role in a multi-state anabolic steroid conspiracy that operated in multiple states across the country.

According to court documents, law enforcement received information in February 2020 that Erik Eckert, 34, a Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy, was distributing anabolic steroids to an individual in Norfolk. The investigation revealed that Eckert was receiving wholesale quantities of anabolic steroids from a drug trafficking organization run by his co-conspirator, Michael Lambert, who pleaded guilty to drug distribution charges earlier this year. Eckert then sold the steroids to others, including fellow servicemembers.

Eckert is one of six members of the trafficking network, led by Michael Lambert, who have been charged in this case. In early 2020, Lambert and his wife, Laura Lambert, rented a residence in Surry County, where they used raw materials received from China to manufacture liquid and pill-form steroids for wholesale distribution. Lambert’s products were advertised on various underground internet forums and, with the assistance of his co-conspirators, the group shipped wholesale quantities of steroids through the U.S. Postal Service to various states for further distribution.

The organization concealed its activities by using false names and identity information, encrypted messaging platforms, and cyber-currency accounts. The Lamberts used the proceeds from the conspiracy to purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry, and a horse, among other items.

The following defendants involved in the organization have pleaded guilty to the crimes listed below:

Name, Age Charges Total Maximum Penalties Sentencing Date
Michael Steven Lambert, a/k/a “Christopher DeCamillo,” 36 Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession with the Intent to Distribute; and Felon in Possession of a Firearm 50 years July 13, 2021
Laura Frances Lambert, a/k/a “Laura Purcell,” 31 Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession with the Intent to Distribute= 20 years Sept. 23, 2021
Adam Morin, 35 Making an Unregistered Silencer 10 years Aug. 31, 2021
Hamdy Sayed, 36 Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances 10 years Sept. 9, 2021
Clyde Edward Peele, a/k/a “Bo,” 45 Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances 10 years Oct. 5, 2021
Erik Eckert, 34 Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances 10 years Oct. 12, 2021

Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division; Peter R. Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS); Gregory Scovel, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Paul Neudigate, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Roderick C. Young accepted the plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bird and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bosse are prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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