A former Philadelphia police officer and Northeast resident pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 to federal felony charges in connection with an illegal anabolic steroids distribution ring.
Joseph McIntyre, 36, of the 3300 block of Atmore Road in Parkwood, was one of 15 people, including three police officers, indicted in May in connection with the alleged drug conspiracy.
Ex-Detective Keith Gidelson and ex-Officer George Sambuca have pleaded not guilty in the case, and five civilian defendants have pleaded guilty so far, according to federal prosecutors.
In the indictment, a grand jury alleged that Gidelson, who is 34 and was a 14-year Philadelphia police veteran, orchestrated the conspiracy to distribute tens of thousands of dollars worth of steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) from September 2009 through last May.
Gidelson allegedly ordered the controlled substances illegally from suppliers in Europe and China and had them delivered to a mailbox at a local U.S. Postal Service store. Gidelson received shipments valued at thousands of dollars monthly, authorities claim.
In turn, Gidelson allegedly sold the substances to McIntyre and Sambuca, who is 25 and was a two-year member of the police force, along with 12 civilians. The transactions were arranged via telephone and text message and were completed at Gidelson’s Modena Park home, along with area fitness clubs, the indictment stated.
Some of Gidelson’s customers allegedly re-sold the drugs to third parties.
McIntyre pleaded guilty specifically to charges of possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids and conspiracy. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine and is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 5.
At the time of their arrests, Gidelson was assigned to the police department’s safety office, and McIntyre — a 14-year police veteran — was assigned to the 26th district and Sambuca to the 22nd district. All three were suspended and then terminated by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. ••
Reporter William Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or firstname.lastname@example.org