GREENEVILLE — A former Jonesborough police officer who sold more than $80,000 worth of illegal steroids over a three-year period has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for steroid trafficking.
Freddie Matthew Sergent, 31, of Telford, received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Monday. According to court records, Sergent pled guilty in January to unlawfully distributing anabolic steroids over a three-year period (2009 to April 2012).
“I somehow became sidetracked and made a mess of my life,” Sergent wrote in a letter to the court. “I wish I could rewind and change it all.”
Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone and are regulated under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as a Schedule III controlled substance. As a Schedule III controlled substance, they may not be possessed lawfully in the United States without a prescription.
Prosecutors say Sergent obtained raw steroid powders and other materials through the mail from China. He then processed and packaged the steroids into vials. The vials contained 300 milliliters of a solution containing an anabolic steroid, including boldenone undecylenate, often referred to by the trade name “Equipoise.”
During a search of Sergent’s residence, federal agents recovered steroid powders, materials used to process and package steroids, syringes, personal computers and three firearms.
Sergent sold $80,000 worth of steroids (at $40 per vial) to customers across the United States, including local law enforcement officers. For almost the entire time Sergent trafficked in steroids, he worked as a police officer with the Jonesborough Police Department. Sergent resigned from his position in January 2012.
Prosecutors had argued for a 27 to 33 month sentence. Sergent’s attorney — Benjamin Sharp with Federal Defender Services — argued for a reduced prison sentence and for the court to consider a period of home confinement in lieu of incarceration.
“To say that Mr. Sergent did not have a fairy tale childhood would be an understatement,” Sharp wrote in his sentencing memorandum. “Sergent was raised in a home without love or compassion. He was born to young, irresponsible parents with substance abuse problems ... not surprisingly, Sergent began abusing drugs and alcohol at the age of 14.”
Sergent found an avenue of escape and release through weightlifting and bodybuilding, Sharp wrote in his memorandum, giving him value and identity outside of drugs and alcohol. Sergent continued with bodybuilding into his adult life, winning amateur shows and having dreams of going on the professional circuit.
However, it was not long before Sergent gave and later sold steroids to local law enforcement officers and others in the community at his gym as a way to pay for his own continued steroid use, court records state.
Eventually, Sergent needed more funds for an expensive series of fertility procedures and ultimately an adoption.