By Tony Hanson

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia police detective today pleaded guilty to running an illegal drug operation that trafficked in steroids.

More than a dozen others were part of the operation, but federal prosecutor David Axelrod says Keith Gidelson, 36, imported the anabolic steroids from China and Europe and then sold them — at least thousands of doses — to other local distributors and users.

And the evidence against him, as detailed by the prosecutor in court, included secretly recorded conversations.

“Gidelson had a consistent system for distributing these steroids,” Axelrod tells KYW Newsradio.  “When he received a new shipment of steroids, he would call or send text messages to these customers.  Sometimes these calls or texts were brief and in code.  For instance, Gidelson and some of his co-conspirators used the term ‘books’ to refer to steroids.  Often Gidelson and his customers would speak openly about receiving a new shipment of steroids, referring to specific types of steroids by their commonly used names.”

Officials say that at the time of his arrest, Gidelson was collecting his police pay while on disability leave, but was fired after being arrested.

Gidelson will be sentence in January. Gidelson’s wife and two others former officers, who also pleaded guilty earlier,  were among 15 people charged.