Maybe the 34-year-old journeyman player was looking for a quick fix to a neck injury that had hobbled him during the San Francisco Giants’ playoff run, a postseason that ultimately saw him dropped from Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s roster.
But Jose Guillen only put himself and his wife in a world of legal hurt when the Giants’ outfielder allegedly arranged for a shipment of nearly 50 pre-loaded syringes of human growth hormone to be sent to his San Francisco address in September, while his team was clawing its way to a playoff berth.
According to a source close to a federal investigation of Guillen, Drug Enforcement Administration agents, who were monitoring the activities of the suspected supplier, intercepted the package when it was sent to the Giants’ outfielder to the attention of Yamel Guillen – Jose Guillen’s wife, who also goes by Yamel Acevedo.
Federal agents contacted Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigation about the shipment and the DOI, according to sources, continues to investigate the matter and whether anyone else in baseball might have been involved, especially since Guillen has a history of acquiring HGH and steroids: Prior to the release of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drug use in baseball, Guillen was set to be suspended 15 games to start the 2008 season after he reportedly purchased HGH, testosterone and other steroids through the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center in multiple transactions between 2002-2005. One of those shipments, which included HGH, testosterone proprionate, stanozolol and syringes, was sent to the Oakland Coliseum. The commissioner’s office slapped Guillen with a 15-day suspension days before the release of the Mitchell Report, and the outfielder was to have served that ban at the start of the 2008 season when he was with the Royals. But in April of 2008, Bud Selig announced that Guillen and other players mentioned in the report would receive amnesty for “past acts” and Guillen did not serve the suspension. (One of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report was that packages sent to players at major-league ballparks should be logged, with the sender’s address and phone number, the recipient’s name and the date of delivery recorded.)
Under baseball’s drug policy, a second offense against Guillen would possibly lead to discipline, and according to sources, baseball is actively pursuing information about the shipment or shipments. After the DEA tracked the September package, believed to have been sent from Miami through the San Francisco Airport, agents then arranged a controlled delivery to the home of Guillen, where Yamel Guillen signed for the package. Once she penned her signature, DEA agents identified themselves and Yamel Guillen consented to a search. She is believed to have left the country in recent weeks, returning to the Dominican Republic.
Jay Reisinger, Jose Guillen’s attorney, declined to comment on the case.
The DEA may also be looking at a second incident in which HGH was also shipped to a San Francisco apartment or hotel address registered under Jose Guillen’s name, according to sources, who say the shipments are linked to suppliers in the Dominican Republic. Steroids and HGH are legal in the D.R. and easily obtainable without a prescription, which has been a persistent problem for MLB’s anti-doping efforts. When Alex Rodriguez admitted his past steroid use, he claimed that a cousin would go to the D.R. and secure the steroid Primobolan and then bring it to A-Rod in the U.S. when the star player was with the Rangers.