PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Former Charlestown police officer Evan Speck admitted Friday to trafficking steroids and laundering money from the illicit sales.
Speck, 34, of Bradford Road in Westerly, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith to one count each of possession of steroids with intent to deliver; distribution of misbranded drugs; and money laundering.
He faces up to 33 years in prison at his sentencing Nov. 3.
Federal agents in March raided Speck’s home, unearthing receipts, packaging, syringes, scales and other evidence that Speck was selling steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Documents, cash and ledgers indicated that Speck received $536,000 from June 2015 through the date of the search, prosecutors said. Agents seized a.22-caliber Colt handgun and a .45 caliber pistol from his home and a loaded .40-caliber Glock from his vehicle.
“It’s always disheartening to those of us who have dedicated our lives to upholding the law when any police officer is accused of a crime and agrees to please guilty to those crimes,” Charlestown Police Chief Jeffrey S. Allen said in a statement Friday morning after Speck entered his plea. “Mr. Speck’s behavior was a huge violation of the public trust he was given as a police officer.”
Allen noted that Speck had been on a leave of absence since May 2016, had not been paid by the town since September 2016 and had resigned from the force this March. “I am committed to safeguarding the integrity of this Department and will take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the public confidence in the Charlestown Police Department,” the chief said.
According to authorities, Speck was purchasing Testosterone Cipionate from China beginning in 2015, repackaging the drug and selling under the brand name TabMan Pharmaceuticals without specifying how it should be used.
Speck sold the drugs through members-only, web-based steroids boards, communicating with customers — largely bodybuilders — through encrypted messages under various email addresses. He used software that made text messages vanish immediately after they were read, authorities said.
Speck tried to conceal evidence of the drug sales using various accounts and Bitcoin crypto-cyber currency, prosecutors said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams said the amount of drugs Speck sold was equivalent to 79.99 kilograms of marijuana.
He will forfeit the three firearms and $17,954 that were seized in March, and another $536,000, based on the drug-trafficking business he was running.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dulce Donovan, Mary E. Rodgers and John P. McAdams prosecuted the case.
A bodybuilder who has competed nationally, Speck twice sued the town, Police Chief Jeffrey Allen, the Police Department and Lt. Michael Paliotta, alleging that he was discriminated and retaliated against after requesting accommodations for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
He said he has developed posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of the subsequent workplace stress. He claimed, too, that the town and his superiors have halted his pay and health-care coverage and denied him injured-on-duty status in retaliation for exercising his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADHD and PTSD are classified as disabilities under federal law.
The town, in court papers, countered that Speck was absent from work for months “claiming it is due to his alleged disability,” but managed during that time to participate in bodybuilding competitions in Florida, Connecticut and Las Vegas.
It notes that he has purchased a BMW, renovated his home with custom-made materials and traveled to New York for bodybuilding treatment — all since the start of his first sick leave in January 2016. The town asserts that it moved to rescind Speck’s pay and benefits only after he had exhausted all paid leave, and not in retaliation.
Speck stepped down from the force in March after 11 years following the raid on his home. Wearing a pinstriped navy blue suit, his hair slicked back, Speck told Smith due Friday’s proceedings that he is being treated for PTSD.
His lawyer, Edward C. Roy, has said those lawsuits remain “up in the air” and under discussion.
Speck remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond. He is allowed to travel in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.