A promoter for local bodybuilding competitions, including one at SportsFest in Allentown, gave up his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges he conspired with two others to sell steroids, and his lawyer said he is hopeful the case can dismissed once it hits Lehigh County Court.
Craig Johnson, 39, of Allentown waived his hearing before District Judge Donna Butler and must appear in court in December on a charge of criminal conspiracy. In August, agents with the state attorney general’s office charged Johnson, along with two others with selling steroids.
Johnson is a promoter for Lehigh Valley NPC who once ran the bodybuilding competition at SportsFest. He has promoted several bodybuilding and top figure competitions in the Lehigh Valley, including a 2007 show held at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, with the winners qualifying for the Mr. Olympia contest.
Jason Jenkins, Johnson’s attorney, said Thursday his client thought he was helping a friend, but it turned out to be a mistake.
“We’re hoping the government recognizes that this is a mistake that Craig didn’t benefit from, financially or professionally,” he said after the hearing at the Emmaus courtroom. “We hope that with the size and scope of this operation, they would be willing to forgive.”
According to a state grand jury:
A confidential informant in August and September 2009 bought steroids from Johnson at his business, Top Physique Nutrition and Promotions in Allentown. Johnson told the informant the steroids were supplied by Edward Moyzan of Trexlertown, who did not want to deal directly with the buyer.
After the informant gave Johnson money, Moyzan would collect it. Moyzan later told investigators he bought steroids from Brian Potance of Easton, who said he bought them online.
Moyzan and Potance, a former Northampton County correctional officer, have already waived their hearing and are awaiting trial.
Two men and a woman from the Philadelphia area were also charged in August. They also waived their hearing before Butler on Thursday.
The August bust was the second phase of Operation Roid Runner, which led to 10 arrests for alleged steroid sales in November 2009.
Jenkins said his client never sold steroids to make money. Jenkins said Johnson knew someone who asked for steroids and directed him to someone who sold them. That person turned out to be an informant, he said.