A “keen” body builder from Birmingham set up an illegal business to sell steroids to other body builders using the dark web.
He also imported a potentially lethal substance used to lose weight.
Mantas Kaupas, 35, of Burnel Road, Weoley Castle, who had previously admitted producing, offering to supply, supplying and possessing with intent to supply steroids as well as a charge under Food and Hygiene regulations, was sentenced to eight months, suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to do 300 hours unpaid work.
On December 13 2018 a package addressed to the defendant was intercepted at Stansted Airport which was found to contain a kilo of DNP, a substance used by body builders who wanted to lose weight.
Andrew Davidson, prosecuting, at Birmingham Crown Court, said police searched Kaupas’s home on February 21 the following year where they found 111 ten millilitre bottles of a liquid testosterone type drug along with 1,185 tablets.
In passing sentence Judge Paul Farrer QC said:”You were yourself a keen body builder and in that way you began, all be it illegally, to use steroids and in due course progressed to producing your own steroids.
“I accept that people began to approach you and aked you to buy your product.
“It seems in that way you realised the potential for profit from this activity.
“Between February 2018 and February 2019 you were involved in purchasing, producing and selling anabolic steroids.
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“You produced over that period a relatively large quantity of steroids but I accept you had been using significant quantities yourself. You sourced the raw ingredients to produce these drugs by the Dark Web from countries such as China and India.”
The judge said it was difficult to assess the scale of the enterprise and that recovered text messages indicated that he had had dealing with 23 customers.
One customer had purchased five consignments of steroids at a total cost of £970.
Judge Farrer said Kaupas could have made about £9,000 but it probably would have been less than that because of the cost of producing the drug.
He said that the DNP was legal for human consumption but when used in conjunction with steroids had been linked with the occasional fatality.
“You were the directing mind and organiser of this enterprise and you expected to make significant profit.”
Referring to the DNP, he said: “I accept you were aware of the risk but you closed your eyes to the extent of that risk.”
However he had taken into account that he was a hard working man and a productive member of his community.
He also considered the fact he had no previous convictions and that he would lose his home, where he lived with his partner, if he was sent to jail.