NEW STEROID CHARGES BROUGHT

Five people tied to Fla. ring accused of selling in the Capital Region

ROBERT GAVIN STAFF WRITER
Section: Capital Region,  Page: B1

Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ALBANY ---- The steroids case is back.


Five alleged conspirators of a Florida-based ring were hit with new felony charges Tuesday accusing them of illegally selling performance-enhancing drugs in the Capital Region.


A 33-count indictment alleging enterprise corruption, drug sales and attempted drug sales was unsealed as the defendants were arraigned before Judge Stephen Herrick in Albany County Court.


The indictment marks the return of a case brought by Albany County District Attorney David Soares in which elite professional athletes were linked to steroids allegedly supplied through the Orlando-based Signature Compounding Pharmacy, which was raided in February 2007.


At least 17 defendants pleaded guilty before Herrick tossed the case on Sept. 11, 2008. But the Appellate Division ruled Feb. 18 that Soares' office could once again present the case to a grand jury.


On June 16, a grand jury indicted former pharmacy operators Naomi Loomis, 37, her husband, Robert "Stan" Loomis, 59; both of Windermere, Fla;, his brother and former Signature pharmacy operator Kenneth Michael Loomis, who is in his early 60s, of Winter Garden, Fla.; former business manager Kirk Calvert, 40, of Windermere; and former business manager Tony Palladino, 34, of Ocoee, Fla.


"We look forward to putting this indictment in a jury's hands," said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Baynes, who prosecuted the prior steroids case.


Each defendant was charged in every count. All pleaded not guilty.


Naomi Loomis was released on $35,000 bail, the rest on $30,000.


"We expect this indictment to suffer the same fate as the previous indictment," said attorney E. Stewart Jones, who represents Kenneth Loomis, Calvert and Palladino. "It will be dismissed."


When asked, Jones said the Loomises were "unable to work because everything is tied up as a result of forfeiture actions, civil lawsuits a pending criminal case. So their pharmacy business has basically been shut down." Asked if they were involved with pharmaceutical dealings, Jones said "no."


A website -- www.signaturepharmacy.com -- now leads users to a company identified as Olympia Compounding Pharmacy in Orlando. A man answering the phone Tuesday said two Loomis family members worked there. He transferred the call to a woman who hung up without answering any questions.


Attorney William Dreyer represents Robert and Naomi Loomis.


The indictment alleges steroids were shipped from Florida to Colonie, Cohoes and Albany in 2005 and 2006. It contends the defendants used affiliates that included Palm Beach Rejuvenation in Jupiter, Fla; Infinity Longevity in Deerfield Beach, Fla.; MedXLife in Orlando; Cellular Nucleonic Advantage (CNA) in Houston and Oasis Longevity & Rejuvenation, Delray Beach, Fla.


The charges come more than three years after raids of wellness clinics and pharmacies led to allegations that celebrities and athletes received steroids and human growth hormone through Signature. The list included now-retired New England Patriots all-pro safety Rodney Harrison, Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach Wade Wilson, major league pitcher Paul Byrd, journeyman outfielder Jose Guillen, retired power-slugging third baseman Matt Williams and former pitcher Ismael Valdez, according to published reports.


Signature's operators are now the targets of a federal criminal investigation. Court records show federal authorities appear to be zeroing in on Signature's operators.


Reach Robert Gavin at 434-2403 or rgavin@timesunion.com.