A body builder who competed nationally and owned a Clermont County gym was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for manufacturing steroids and growing marijuana.
Jeffery M. Storch, 41, who admitted using steroids since 1993, was despondent as he was handcuffed and led away by a deputy sheriff.
Judge William Walker of Common Pleas Court fined Storch $15,000. He also ordered $1,440 in restitution to cover lab tests for the Clermont County Narcotics Unit, which is overseen by Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg.
Storch “realized that to compete at the national level, you have to use steroids,” defense attorney Ronald Seibel said. At 5-foot-7 and 217 pounds, “Mr. Storch was just a ripped muscle mass.”
A May 4 search of his Union Township home by police resulted in the seizure of five pounds of marijuana, a pot-growing operation, anabolic steroids and compounds that, if combined, would have resulted in hundreds of doses of steroids, the sheriff said.
But “he wasn’t going out selling steroids to 17-year-football players in local high schools,” Seibel said.
The attorney, seeking leniency, asked the judge to consider that the steroids and pot were for personal use.
“Everybody on the national level uses steroids,” Seibel said. “He was provoked by competition.”
The judge interrupted, saying Storch might have been motivated to take steroids to compete, but that it was absurd to argue he had been provoked to commit a crime.
As to the marijuana, it “was used because it’s calorie free,” Seibel said. “At the end of the day, when he needed to relax – instead of having a beer – he would use marijuana. He was on a strict 500 calorie-a-day diet” to limit body fat.
While Storch recently transferred ownership of his interest in Body Worx Fitness 24/7 on Old Ohio 74 in Union Township, he had continued to work as a trainer at the gym, said his other defense attorney, Bill Rapp.
“I’ve never been more remorseful or regretful for all the people I’ve caused damage, (including) business partners,” Storch told the judge. “I’ve damaged my business with this. I can’t express how sorry I am for my pursuit of the body building just blindly over the years.”
Storch lost friends and clients after being indicted Sept. 15 on eight charges, Rapp told the judge. The other six charges – including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and trafficking in steroids and marijuana – were dismissed in a deal with prosecutors when he pleaded guilty Nov. 18.
Storch had no criminal record, but “I do not agree that you have led a law-abiding life,” the judge said. “You have been using these drugs for a very long time. …
“You were an example to many other people in the community with respect to body building,” Walker said. “Your occupation was likely to influence other people.”