Court: Property seizure in Bruce Kneller / RSOC steroid case was OK

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that state troopers did not act improperly in seizing a car and a bank account belonging to a steroids dealer before his trial.

Bruce Kneller of Canton, known in the bodybuilding world as the “Steroid Guru,” was arrested in 2006 for selling steroids online. He pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

The court ruling says Kneller had $124,800 worth of illegal steroids in his Blue Hills Village condo in Canton when it was searched.

State Police seized his 2004 Audi and froze a Bank of America account containing more than $200,000.

Authorities are allowed to seize property used in criminal acts. Tuesday’s ruling says the right of seizure also applies to items not directly used in the committing of crimes.

It says authorities can confiscate items that were “probably derived from illegal drug transactions.”

The decision says the state had probable cause to believe that a connection existed between Kneller’s bank account and his illegal drug operation.”

The state needed “reliable information … that established probable cause” of such a connection; it did not need to establish that the property in question stemmed directly from a drug transaction, the decision says.

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