Texas bodybuilder charged with conspiracy to sell steroids
HOUSTON - A north Texas bodybuilder has been charged with conspiring to sell steroids, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.
Philip Russell Archibald, 29, of Lancaster, was charged via criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Coconspirator Danielle Bocanegra, 30, of Lampasas, was also charged.
“The Northern District of Texas will not tolerate the peddling of steroids in our community. We are grateful to our law enforcement partners for helping us dismantle this steroid trafficking ring,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.
According to the complaint, Mr. Archibald, a self-proclaimed bodybuilder and personal trainer, allegedly ran a steroid distribution ring that spanned across north Texas.
In March 2019, agents discovered Mr. Archibald’s fingerprints on a zip-lock baggie filled with steroids, which Ms. Bocanegra sold to an undercover officer for $900, the complaint alleged. They later tracked several packages of steroids sent via the U.S. Postal Service to Ms. Bocanegra’s residence to several USPS kiosks used by Mr. Archibald.
In July 2019, agents followed Mr. Archibald from his residence to a local post office, where he allegedly mailed a priority mail flat rate box. Pursuant to a federal search warrant, the agents seized the parcel and sent the contents to the USPIS Forensic Laboratory, which identified 64 red capsules containing oxandralone, a known steroid compound.
On June 8, 2020, agents also searched Mr. Archibald’s residence, where they found steroids and multiple firearms, prosecutors told the Court.
At Mr. Archibald’s detention hearing, prosecutors argued that the defendant posed a threat to the community, noting that the defendant, who has been tied publicly with the anti-government Boogaloo movement, used his social media accounts to advocate vigilante “guerrilla warfare” against the National Guardsman patrolling Black Lives Matter protests. In a recent Facebook post, he claimed to be “hunting Antifa” and threatened to “kill” looters. The Court granted the government’s motion and ordered Mr. Archibald detained pending trial.
“Drug trafficking and violence go hand in hand. Whether we are talking about Mexican Cartels and methamphetamine or illegal steroids and vigilantes, all pose a real threat to the safety and security of our Nation,” stated Steven S. Whipple, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Houston Division. “DEA, along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, remain especially focused on bringing to justice those drug traffickers who use, or threaten to use violence in any way or for any purpose.”
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is charged with defending the nations mail system from illegal use,“ said Adrian Gonzalez, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge of the Houston Division. “This includes ensuring individuals like Mr. Archibald do not use the U.S. Mail as a tool to distribute controlled substances to our communities. We remain steadfast in our resolve to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our communities and of the U.S. Postal Service.“
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. These defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, both Mr. Archibald and Ms. Bocanegra face up to 10 years in federal prison.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Austin Field Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Houston Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany H. Eggers and Rebekah Ricketts are prosecuting the case.