By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former Philadelphia police officer was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday for his role in a steroid and human growth hormone distribution ring.
Judge Paul Diamond imposed a sentence against the defendant, 36-year-old Keith Gidelson, that was one year above the recommended federal guideline range.
Prosecutors contended Gidelson operated the drug ring in Philadelphia and around the country. Authorities say he purchased monthly shipments of steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) from suppliers in Europe and China. Officials say he would then repackage the illegal drugs and sell them out of his Northeast Philadelphia home and at area fitness clubs.
Gidelson pleaded guilty in October and did cooperate.
Gidelson was on disability following a 2006 on-duty car crash in which he was seriously injured, and during sentencing he blamed his criminal conduct from 2009 to 2011 on Post-traumatic stress syndrome. The judge didn’t buy it, and neither did federal prosecutor David Axelrod.
“It was a carefully planned out distribution operation to sell drugs,” Axelrod says. “He had suppliers who he carefully coordinated with. He had customers who he carefully coordinated with. And just like any drug dealer, he did it for one reason, and that is money. It is a disgrace. It is truly a disgrace.”
The judge ordered Gidelson taken into custody immediately to begin serving his sentence.
Two other former police officers also pleaded guilty in this case. They are awaiting sentencing.