In 2003, strange packages from Egypt were intercepted at post offices near many Florida prisons. U.S. customs and immigration officers opened the packages addressed to corrections officers and found illegal anabolic steroids, reports the St. Petersburg Times. After an investigation, federal officials charged five corrections officers with distributing steroids amid a broader probe into the actions of some of the state’s highest ranking prison officials.
Steroid use by corrections and law enforcement officers is becoming an increasing problem in many areas, much as it has for professional ballplayers who want to beef up their bodies. Most police agencies, including the Corrections Department, prohibit steroid use. Experts are increasingly pointing to psychological as well as physical side effects from the drugs. Despite reports of problems with steroids in law enforcement nationally, state prison officials conducted no internal investigation of the guards who are now caught up in the federal investigation. Corrections Secretary James V. Crosby Jr. refused to discuss it with the St. Petersburg Times.