News out of the Cork Circuit Criminal Court today is that an Irish bodybuilder has pled guilty to being involved in a distribution ring responsible for selling illegal anabolic steroids.
The individual in question, a Mr. Liam Quinn, said in open court that he had been interested in the sport of bodybuilding ever since he was a young boy and began taking advantage of anabolic steroids in his teenage years to leverage the performance-enhancing benefits they promised.
A member of the Irish Defense Forces at the time of his arrest, Mr. Quinn (page 32) was open, forthright, and honest about his anabolic steroid use as well as the fact that he often sold some of the anabolic steroids he sourced to friends and fellow bodybuilders in the local community.
His candor, as well as the forensic laboratory’s inability to identify the active components of two of the separate drugs seized from Mr. Quinn, led to the presiding judge – Judge Gerard O’Brien – to give Mr. Quinn a sentence of dismissal, provided he pay €400 to the Merchants Quay Project. This is a local initiative that offers support to the homeless of Cork, as well as provides funding for other drug-related services throughout the county.
Mr. Quinn was also upfront and honest about the fact that he had stopped using anabolic steroids and had no interest in becoming a “big time” distributor, the way that the prosecution had painted him. The judge found that Mr. Quinn had no previous record and after considering all of the evidence provided in open court handed down a much weaker punishment than he could have otherwise – especially since Mr. Quinn had already pled guilty to the charges.
Judge O’Brien did say that he was applying the probation act with a bit of hesitation, and made sure to put on the court record that his decision was not something to be taken as a precedent moving forward. This was a very unique set of circumstances that allowed the judge to make this kind of decision, and it wasn’t something that future cases should be decided on if their circumstances or the evidence provided differed significantly.
The defense attorney representing Mr. Quinn, a Mr. O’Sullivan, make sure that the judge was aware of the exemplary record that the defendant had in the Defense Forces. The defense attorney hoped that Mr. Quinn would be able to maintain his position in the Defense Forces, though a separate set of investigations is currently underway – running parallel with this case.
Prosecutors stated that they received a warrant for the search and seizure of illegal steroids at the residence of Mr. Quinn, a search warrant that they executed on April 9, 2016.
Mr. Quinn was home and immediately asked whether or not he had any illegal substances in the home. He immediately admitted that he did, produced two plastic containers and a large plastic bag that had anabolic steroids in them, and also provided his cell phone and a number of paper logbooks that detailed how he used the steroids himself – as well as how some of his friends that had purchased the steroids from him were using them.
Upon further investigation, Mr. Quinn openly admitted that about 30% of the steroids that he had purchased were to be shared with his friends and 70% were to be used by him individually. He owned the fact that he had the steroids in his possession and was going to distribute them right from the beginning and never wavered from taking full responsibility.
Interestingly enough, when the anabolic steroids were shipped off to the police investigatory laboratory it was impossible to determine the active substances of them. This really hurt the prosecution’s case, and the lack of evidence – combined with the trumped up story that the prosecution presented about Mr. Quinn being a big time distributor – likely influenced Judge O’Brien’s decision not to throw the book at him.