An attorney for the pharmacist, William Sadowski, 46, of Pittsburgh, declined to comment on court filings that show he'll plead guilty on Nov. 5 before a federal judge in Pittsburgh along with John Gavin, 51, a nurse who worked for Sadowski's city-based pharmacy, ANEWrx. Gavin didn't respond to a message left on his home phone.
Both men have been charged with helping Dr. Richard Rydze obtain the steroids he allegedly distributed illegally from September 2007 until March 2011.
Rydze, 62, was arrested last week and charged with conspiring to distribute the body-building substances as well as certain kinds of painkillers. The alleged conspiracy began a few months after the Steelers cut Rydze from their medical staff in June 2007, and the team and Rydze have previously said he didn't supply steroids to Steelers players.
Court records show Sadowski and Gavin have agreed to waive indictment and plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids.
A nine-page criminal information filed by federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh said Sadowski's pharmacy was licensed to dispense prescription drugs in at least 44 states and that he hired Gavin to, among other things, "research the status of criminal prosecutions across the county for illegal distribution of anabolic steroids and HGH.
Sadowski's pharmacy allegedly developed drug combinations, or "stacks," that included steroids, HGH and other substances—many used to legitimately treat breast cancer and other maladies—that, when taken with the steroids, were meant to prevent their undesirable side effects.
Among other things, Sadowski marked up the drugs that Rydze would prescribe to his patients and then kick back the extra profit to Rydze, investigators said. Rydze personally received $301,000 in kickbacks, before he started having ANEWrx make the payments to his downtown Pittsburgh practice, which received at least $146,000 more, according to court documents.
Rydze's patient base was so broad in Pittsburgh that federal authorities took the unusual step of having FBI agents from Ohio investigate. Among other things, Rydze had a contract to perform physicals for the agents who worked at the Pittsburgh FBI office, according to FBI officials and Michael Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Cleveland.
Two people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that at least one staffer in the U.S. attorney's office in Pittsburgh was a patient of Rydze's. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been made public.
A spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh federal prosecutor's office declined to comment, citing federal medical privacy laws.
No FBI agents or federal prosecutors are suspected of getting steroids or other drugs illegally from him.
Prosecutors from Cleveland will try the case before a federal judge in Pittsburgh.
Rydze pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday and is free on bond. Rydze and his attorney have declined comment.