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South Arkansas law enforcement conduct state's largest steroids bust

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MAGNOLIA, Ark -

A dangerous and illegal way to seek athletic dominance has filtered into Southwest Arkansas in a big way.
    
Authorities say they recently made the largest bust of steroids in state history.

"It was a fairly significant package of steroids coming from China through Little Rock and ended up in Magnolia, Arkansas, said David Butler, Columbia County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.  

Butler says more than 700,000 packages come from China on a daily basis and all of them are screened by Homeland Security.

Local authorities were alerted by that agency and the U.S. Postal Service.

Magnolia Police Department then set up a controlled delivery to the Extreme Image Fitness Center, which led to the arrest of gym owner Joshua Hines of Waldo, Arkansas, and Robert ''Drew'' Maza of El Dorado.

According to court documents, the two men would use a chemical mixture to convert the steroid powder into a liquid, so it could be injected by a needle.

Butler says fake pharmacy labels from LA Labs were also put on the steroids.    

Police say more than half-a-million dollars in anabolic steroids were seized, along with multiple assault rifles and $45,000.

Butler believes national attention on the abuse of steroids by pro-athletes has prompted more screenings for the drug.

However, he says there's a bigger safety issue concerning the quality of the steroids, and more importantly, who it's being distributed to.

While it's possible the steroids were being widely distributed, Butler says the market for the drugs is still under investigation.

"If the steroids get down to the local level of college football players and football players in the high school level, that's what we are most concerned about," explained Butler.

An employee at the Magnolia gym, Candy Drake, was arrested a few days after the bust for alleged possession of the steroids.

All three of the suspects in the steroids case have been released on bond.
    
Their next court date is still pending.
    
The investigation is ongoing.

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