Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alex Rodriguez Steroid Supplier Sentenced

Minutes before Alex Rodriguez’s steroid dealer was sentenced to four years in federal prison, Anthony Bosch huddled with more than a dozen family members and friends in a courthouse alcove, tearfully reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Then Bosch, the man behind the notorious Biogenesis doping ring, walked into the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Darrin Gayles and stood to receive the terms of his sentence — 48 months, followed by three years of supervised release.

“My addiction took the best of me,” Bosch told Judge Gayles, while family members sobbed in the courtoom gallery. “I can’t put into words how sorry I am.”

Judge Gayles gave Bosch until 11:15 a.m. to surrender to the U.S. Marshals at the courthouse.

Despite pleas for leniency from family members, Gayles gave Bosch three months less than the maximum sentence of 51 months allowed in the federal guidelines for Bosch’s record of steroid distribution. The sentence could potentially be reduced later this year if Bosch testifies against Bosch co-conspirators Yuri Sucart and ex-Miami pitching coach Lazer Collazo, who pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to face trial in April.

Sucart is Rodriguez’s cousin, and was implicated previously by Rodriguez as having provided him steroids a decade ago. Rodriguez could also be called to testify in those cases.

The gallery was crowded with spectators, supporters of Bosch and members of the media. Among the faces was Porter Fisher, the former Biogenesis employee whose decision to swipe several boxes of medical records from the facility helped turn the case into a national story (the records were allegedly stolen from Fisher’s car outside a tanning salon, and later appeared on the black market). Fisher declined to be interviewed by the Daily News.

Collazo’s lawyer, Frank Quintero, sent his partner to the sentencing, which Quintero described as “within the guidelines. Judge Gayles made a decision and he knows the case better than anybody.”

Also present was DLA Piper attorney Charlie Scheeler, who helped former Senator George Mitchell compile the groundbreaking 2007 report on doping in baseball.

The sentence was longer than that suggested by even the prosecutor, Pat Sullivan, who said 41 months was appropriate given Bosch’s cooperation with the government’s probe, which began nearly three years ago.

Bosch supplied A-Rod and more than a dozen pro ballplayers with steroids, human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing drugs. Even before his arrest by federal agents in August 2014, his testimony about A-Rod and other clients put him at the center of one of the most explosive doping cases in Major League Baseball history.

Bosch has been cooperating an MLB investigation that resulted in the suspension of 14 players, including Rodriguez; and future cooperation with the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Bosch pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute testosterone to athletes from the now-closed clinic in Coral Gables. His best customer was Rodriguez, who confessed to DEA agents in January of last year that he had paid thousands of dollars a month to Bosch for PEDs in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

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