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People v. Brown: Anabolic Steroids, Trenbolone, and Human v. Cattle Use

December 1, 2009 Criminal Law and Procedure

The Case of People v. Brown focuses on a statute regarding anabolic steroids.

What Happened in the Case

The Defendant in this case was a police officer. Defendant was being investigated for possible anabolic steroid use. The investigating officer contacted an inspector in the Postal Service Office to intercept any suspicious packages going to a P.O. Box owned by Defendant.

A parcel was intercepted with the help of a federal search warrant. The parcel contained 1o packages of Finaplix-H, which is also known as Trenbolone, a type of steroid. The police discovered more incriminating evidence at the Defendant’s apartment. Other evidence include credit card confirmation of purchases from the place that sold the Trenbolone, magazines related to anabolic steroid use, and a kit that aids the use of anabolic steroids. There were also e-mails on Defendant’s computer related to steroid use. A drug test confirmed the presence of Trenbolone is Defendant’s system.

At trial, an expert toxicologist gave testimony on Trenbolone. Trenbolone is used by veterinarians to increase muscle mass in cattle. However, the toxicologist testified that Trenbolone is inappropriate for small animals like dogs and cats.

There was a witness for the defense who testified the Trenbolone in this case was used for a dog.

Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of delivery and manufacture of a controlled substance classified in schedule 1, 2, or 3 and possession of a controlled substance classified in schedule 1, 2, or 3.

On Appeal

Defendant’s main legal argument on appeal is that Michigan Board of Pharmacy Rule 338.3122(2) is unconstitutional. The Board of Pharmacy Rule specifically exempts Trenbolone as a controlled substance where it is used for cattle or nonhuman species.

A controlled substance would be illegal to possess or sell unless there is a specific exception. An anabolic steroid is classified as a schedule III controlled substance.

The question in this case is whether Trenbolone is a controlled substance. Defendant’s argument is the Board of Pharmacy Rule is unconstitutional because it is void for vagueness because it fails to provide notice of prohibited conduct. Specifically, the Defendant argued that the exemption in the Rule makes it lawful to possess or deliver Trenbolone.

The Court’s Decision

The Court did not agree with Defendant that the Board of Pharmacy Rule was vague. The Court reasoned that anabolic steroids were clearly schedule III controlled substances, and that the Rule exempts Trenbolone from controlled substance status for the exception of use in cattle or nonhuman species. The Court did not believe there was any ambiguity in this legal structure. Therefore, the Court ruled the Defendant’s argument was without merit. In this case, Defendant’s possession of steroids seemed clearly geared toward personal use, and there was a lack of evidence showing there was use for cattle.

What is an Anabolic Steroid?

An Anabolic steroid is a drug that is used to increase muscle mass and increase athletic abilities. These drugs are often referred to as performance-enhancing drugs, and are used by athletes and body builders. There are many accepted medical uses of the drugs, which is why anabolic steroids were places on the schedule III controlled substances list.

Contact Us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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