Steroid trafficker sentenced to house arrest

A living, walking example of the dangers of steroid use will spend the next 18 months under house arrest after pleading guilty to trafficking the drugs.

A living, walking example of the dangers of steroid use will spend the next 18 months under house arrest after pleading guilty to trafficking the drugs.

Travis Stewart, 25, of Edmonton, was originally scheduled for a two-day trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench. He re-elected to be tried in Red Deer provincial court instead and entered the guilty plea on Wednesday.

Stewart was arrested on April 29, 2011, by the Red Deer RCMP Street Team after they witnessed a known drug user approach the vehicle. The two officers approached the vehicle and noticed the passenger had an open bottle of alcohol in his lap. Police then conducted a search for further alcohol, but instead found a large amount of steroids.

Both oral and injectable steroids were located in the vehicle, which was being driven by Stewart, who was headed to Calgary. More than 150 vials of different types of steroids were found, including sustanon and boldenone, as well as more than 1,000 gel caps of testosterone. The estimated street value of the anabolic steroids seized was about $33,000. Police also found a pill press, digital scale and needles.

Stewart was arrested and charged, and later released from custody. Crown Prosecutor Dave Inglis said Stewart had no criminal record and during his 33-month release, between his arrest and the trial, had not re-offended.

A joint submission was made in Red Deer provincial court to Judge Jim Hunter, but both Inglis and defence counsel Dino Bottos, of Edmonton, had a difficult time arriving at a suggested sentence because of the lack of precedent for sentencing steroid traffickers.

Bottos said Stewart came to Edmonton from Halifax when he was 18. A passion for fitness and body building led him to start using steroids on his arrival in Edmonton. He then sold steroids to fund his own habit.

At the time of his arrest, he had used steroids extensively, but it has taken a toll on his young frame.

Stewart is unable to produce his own testosterone at a normal rate because of his extensive steroid use. A typical male can produce between nine and 38 nanomoles (a unit of measurement) per litre of testosterone while a typical female produces between 0.52 and 2.4 nmol/l. Stewart’s typical testosterone production is 1.83 nmol/l.

He will require testosterone replacement therapy for the rest of his life, as well as other drug treatment. Hunter suggested Stewart consider becoming a public speaker on the dangers and harms of steroid use as a public service and to teach younger people about what damage they can do.

Stewart agreed and said he had been considering public speaking about the harms.

He was sentenced to 18 months house arrest in his Edmonton home. Under the court order, he is to stay in his residence unless he is going to work, school, the gym, court or to see his lawyer, health or dental appointments, seeking treatment or counselling, purchasing the necessities of life, visiting his court supervisor or going to programming his supervisor has recommended.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com