WARREN - A second man linked to a nationwide Internet anabolic steroids distribution operation has pleaded not guilty to corruption-related charges and five additional counts of identity fraud.
Randy A. McHale, 46, of 13 Neil St., Niles, appeared Tuesday for his arraignment. He was released on $25,000 bond pending a pre-trial April 9 before Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay.
McHale faces the second-degree felony charge of complicity to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and the fifth-degree felony identify theft charges.
Details of the charges are spelled out in an affadavit that prosecutors used to arrest 22-year-old Joseph Stiver of Bazetta, who has been labeled the ringleader and the one who created Mutagenic the website that offered the steroids for sale.
Stiver, identified as a student at Youngstown State University, is free on $50,000 bond and on house arrest after pleading not guilty Monday to a 17-count indictment. He had been arrested March 21 on a prosecutor's warrant and held for about a week on $250,000 bond after assistant county prosecutor Charles Morrow called him a flight risk for future court appearances.
McHale meanwhile is believed to be identified in indictments as CS1 (confidential source one), or an associate of Stiver and ''among others who are known or unknown,'' according to indictments.
McHale's role in the enterprise was included in the accusation that he secured names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and possibly other information from memberships at Global Fitness on Elm Road N.E., where he worked at the front desk selling the memberships.
Those memberships, without the members' knowledge, were turned over to Stiver, according to court documents, to set up PayPal accounts that held proceeds from the sale of steroids.
Documents make it clear that no criminal activity occurred inside Global.
McHale's indictments spell out that Stiver ''operated the website from various electronic devices including computers and smart phones, directed the ordering, testing and distribution of anabolic steroids. He obtained and/or supplied personal identifying information of innocent victims to other members of the enterprise to facilitate the transfer of money by various electronic methods to pay for the orders, and then ultimately receiving the net proceeds in cash, which amount exceeded $200,000, and some of which he used to purchase additional personal property.''
Like indictments against Stiver, McHale's corruption charge also includes a forfeiture specification since authorities with Trumbull and Ashtabula Law Enforcement Task Force have already recovered about $200,000 from an attic space above Stiver's bedroom in his parents' home on Cadwallader-Sonk Road.
It was a break-in discovered at E-Z Self Storage in Bazetta Dec. 11 that led to the investigation launched by TAG agents, who discovered evidence of a prescription steroid known as Testosterone Cypionate, a Schedule III controlled drug, and a neatly kept ''workshop'' where different vials were kept in a makeshift office for Mutagenic.
Morrow wouldn't confirm that further arrests are imminent, but he did say the investigation is ongoing.