A bodybuilder who supplied the pill press for a group involved in manufacturing anabolic steroids in East Hanover was sentenced today to a suspended five-year prison term and 150 hours of community service.
Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown warned South Brunswick resident Jason Arntz, 38, that if he gets arrested for any type of offense in the next two-and-a-half years he would send him to prison.
Arntz pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to manufacture steroids between February 1 and March 8, 2007. While not involved in actual steroid sales, he admitted giving a pill press to East Hanover resident Michael B. Dente so the drugs could be made more quickly than by hand.
Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Vincent Leo asked the judge to impose an outright state prison term, noting that Arntz has a 2001 drug distribution conviction out of Union County.
The judge said he thought neither probation nor a direct sentence to prison was appropriate to Arntz’s circumstances.
”I’m going to keep you under wraps in a different way,” Manahan said.
Besides the suspended prison term, he ordered 150 hours of community service which must include speaking publicly about the dangers of steroid use. Arntz also must pay $1,175 in fines and penalties.
”Maybe you can prevent some other person from going down the same path you did,” Manahan said.
Defense lawyer Robert Dunn said that Arntz, who still body-builds and works as a salesman, was hooked on steroids at one time but now is under a doctor’s care.
Dente, now 27, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to possess steroids with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced last June to two years’ probation, 90 days on the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program, 100 hours of community service, and $650 in fines.
Anthony M. Cuppari, a co-defendant in the steroid case that netted 15 people in 2007, pleaded guilty in January to charges of giving steroids to a juvenile and cocaine to his girlfriend. The prosecutor’s office will ask the judge to send Cuppari to prison for up to 10 years on April 9.