Skip to comments.Canby(Oregon) cop bought steroids on the job, FBI says
Posted on 11/16/2008 3:49:42 PM PST by MovementConservative
Two years ago, a neighboring police agency shared a hot tip with the Canby police chief: One of his officers had been spotted buying illegal steroids in Oregon City.
An informant had no difficulty identifying Canby Officer Jason Deason. He came in uniform and rode his police motorcycle to pick up the drugs.
What's more, the seller -- Brian Jackson, then a strength and conditioning coach for the much-heralded Oregon City High School girls basketball team -- told the informant he didn't worry about getting caught by the police because he was selling to the police.
Canby Police Chief Greg Kroeplin didn't appear alarmed, telling the other agency's supervisors he'd heard rumors of Deason's dabbling in steroids many times but could never substantiate them.
Kroeplin brushed off that tip, but the FBI didn't.
Federal agents this year launched a public-corruption investigation, revealing a cozy relationship between Kroeplin and Deason in the 24-member force that allowed the officer to brazenly buy steroids while on duty and in uniform and tip off his suppliers to police inquiries, according to multiple search warrant affidavits filed in U.S. District Court.
Canby police supervisors either failed to address the problem or concealed it, federal authorities allege in the court documents. The investigation also uncovered a steroid distribution network that operated in Oregon, Washington and Arizona.
No charges have been filed in the Canby case.
Kroeplin and Canby City Administrator Mark Adcock referred all questions to the FBI. Dennis Miller, FBI special agent in charge of the Portland office, declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation. The federal agency lists public corruption as one of its top four priorities, and this case marks its first inquiry into steroid abuse among police in Oregon.
A problem once associated with bodybuilders and pro athletes has extended to law enforcement in recent years. Other federal investigations of police and steroid use have led departments in several major cities, such as New York and Boston, to consider expanding random testing for steroids.
Dr. Linn Goldberg, head of OHSU's Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine, met with Phoenix police earlier this year to talk about steroid abuse. "You could see why a police officer might want to use them," Goldberg said. "Sometimes they have to fight hand-to-hand. They have to restrain people. ... You could see where there's an inducement."
But Goldberg emphasized that not only are steroids illicit drugs, they can cause dangerous side effects. "What you don't want is a more aggressive police officer who has a gun and a Taser and a stick."
Deason, 38, resigned from the Canby police force July 17, two weeks after he abruptly ended an interview with FBI agents and was placed on paid leave. The FBI said he immediately tried to track down his alleged supplier and left threats on his ex-wife's voice mail using his police cell phone, thanking her for ruining his career and telling her to watch her back because "I'm coming for you."
Jackson, 36, was fired as an assistant coach of the Oregon City girls basketball team in May because of unrelated inappropriate behavior and the federal investigation, said high school athletic director Bruce Reece. He said the school is cooperating with the FBI as it continues to investigate Jackson and whether he sold steroids to student athletes. "We have no information from students, past or present, that he was providing steroids to them," Reece said.
Jackson's lawyer, Bruce Shepley, declined to comment.
The following account is based on six search warrant affidavits the FBI has filed in the continuing investigation, numerous interviews, records obtained through subpoenas of Canby police documents and recorded conversations with an FBI informant:
Order on police stationery
Jason Deason and Brian Jackson met about 12 years ago while living in Molalla. Jackson admitted to the FBI that he used steroids when he played football at Linfield College in the 1990s and switched to human growth hormone to ease back pain after a motorcycle accident ended his football career.
The two worked out together at Nelson's Nautilus gym in Oregon City, where they'd run into businessman William Traverso of Canby Landscape Supply, a former competitive bodybuilder who maintained a formidable physique into his 30s.
Deason, who joined the Canby Police Department in 1999, asked Traverso how he kept in shape. Soon, the three men were sharing tips on anabolic steroids and how to get them. Deason was interested in achieving "fast gains," Traverso said.
From 2002 through 2005, Traverso said, Jackson was his main supplier of steroid pills, so he could maintain muscle tone without injections. Traverso admitted to the FBI he typically bought 50 to 100 pills of three kinds of steroids at a time, paying Jackson $2 to $3 a pill. In July, FBI agents confiscated two white canisters of steroids from a safe in Traverso's bedroom that he said he bought from Jackson.
Traverso admitted selling steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH, to Deason. He also gave federal agents an order for steroids that Deason had given him, written on Canby police stationery.
Dated April 30, 2002, it begins: "Bill; Here is $160.00 Towards the stuff. $100.00 of it is for Brian's and $60.00 is mine. Brian would like you to get 3 kits of the HGH and if you can 1 or 2 bottles of T200. He wants to know how much the T200 is. Thanks Jason." Next to his name, he left two phone numbers: his Canby police extension and home number.
Deason, in his first interview July 2 with federal agents, denied any use of steroids but said he was aware of the rumors swirling. He told them he achieved his 6-foot-1, 270-pound muscular build through a serious weightlifting regimen and diet with nutritional supplements. He called Traverso a "good friend" whom he met at the gym.
Shortly after agents interviewed Deason, Jackson said he got a text message from Traverso, alerting him that the FBI had talked to Deason.
On Sept. 12, agents searched Jackson's home and seized drug records. Jackson had been terminated from his paid assistant coaching job with the Oregon City High School girls basketball team for "just getting a little too close to students," said Reece, the athletic director. He was with the team three years.
Jackson, with his attorney, began cooperating with federal authorities shortly afterward. He identified his source for steroids as Vancouver resident Rainbow "Bo" Wild Keepers, 39, a competitive bodybuilder and photographer. Agents ran Keepers' name in federal databases and discovered that an Arizona man had tipped off the Drug Enforcement Administration years ago that Keepers was his source of steroids. Keepers was never charged.
Jackson estimated he made at least 75 steroid buys from Keepers between 2005 and 2007. He'd call in his orders for steroids in pill and injectable form then meet Keepers in parking lots in Portland and Oregon City to exchange cash for the drugs. Jackson told the FBI he sold to Traverso, Deason and an unidentified university public safety officer, court affidavits show.
Keepers' lawyer, David Angeli, declined to comment. Traverso, 37, didn't return repeated calls seeking comment or respond to visits to his home and business. Messages left for Deason also weren't returned.
Complaints date to 2001
Canby police had received numerous complaints about Deason and his alleged steroid use as early as 2001. Deason's two former wives also filed multiple domestic violence complaints against Deason with Canby police or the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office between 2001 and 2005. He was not charged with domestic abuse, but police directed Deason to get anger management counseling.
Deason's second wife, now Andrea Lyons, told the FBI she suspected Deason was using steroids when they were dating. She increasingly feared his mood swings, violent temper and his size. In 2001, she found syringes and small plastic vials of liquid in his gym bag, along with a handwritten list of steroids and their costs. She said when she asked Deason about it, he "blew it off" and told her to throw out the paper. She kept it and later turned it over to the FBI.
Lyons, who said in an interview that her family's nickname for Deason was "the tank," said she confided her suspicions to a friend that year. The friend, after getting into a confrontation with Deason in public, called Canby police Aug. 28, 2001. She reported Deason's suspected steroid use to then-Sgt. Kroeplin but said he seemed defensive, according to her notes.
That year, Canby police investigated complaints about Deason's alleged steroid use, and federal authorities say that Deason was quickly "tipped off" to his department's inquiry by his sergeant at the time, Kroeplin. In turn, Deason tipped off his supplier, Traverso admitted to the FBI. Deason also alerted Traverso about other drug investigations targeting Traverso for methamphetamine use.
Meanwhile, Traverso's neighbors grew frustrated by suspicious drug activity at Traverso's home. Their complaints to police seemed to go nowhere, said Ron Gamble, who lives next door.
While facing the Canby internal inquiry, Deason coached Traverso on what to say if Canby police questioned him about steroids: They weren't friends, only acquaintances. "Those are the only words that should come out of your mouth," Deason told Traverso, according to Traverso's FBI interview.
When Jason Deason and Andrea Lyons split up in June 2005, Deason moved in with Kroeplin.
In July 2006, when the outside agency gave Chief Kroeplin its two-page tip about Deason's alleged steroid purchases, Kroeplin didn't mention that Deason was his housemate. This year, a Canby detective passed tips that Deason was using steroids up the ranks and was soon demoted to officer working graveyard shift.
Kroeplin's office said he was in training last week. He was attending the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego. A morning seminar on the second day was titled "Anabolic Steroids and Issue in Law Enforcement."
-- Maxine Bernstein; email@example.com
Stupid is as stupid does!!
Yup... we’re so much safer with the FBI on top of this!
This is absolutely no surprise. Steroid use by cops is becoming very common. I have knows a few myself. They tend to be the guys who became cops for all the wrong reasons.
Gotta proof first.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Oregon Ping List.
But my last dealings with them as a law-abiding citizen requesting their assistance (incident reports for having my personal property stolen, etc.) have left me really disappointed.
Each time when they drove away I found myself trying to pretend that they were good guys, but actually saying, “Effing a$$hole.”
I’ve never understood why guys would swap for bigger muscles at the expense of shrinking balls.
They think the latter won’t happen to them.
I met this guy a few times. His muscles had muscles. I don’t know how many people can get that big without performance enhancements, but I’d be will to bet not too many.
He looks like a Russian weightlifter.
My brother is a former cop. Retired after an injury on the job. Was in some very important posts.
Trust me, it’s worse than you think.
I guess people are forgetful. It was exposed 20 years ago on one of those 20/20 type shows that a lot of cops were doing that stuff to make themselves bigger, stronger, and more aggressive.
Being physically fit is a good thing for a cop, but this stuff can cause them to lose the ability to control anger, and the report I saw detailed many accounts of cops on steroids going mad and beating & killing suspects, complete strangers, their spouses, and so on. Another affect for some of them was sudden death from heart disease.
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