By Jay Weaver, The Miami Herald
MIAMI — Anthony Bosch, the South Florida clinic operator suspected of selling banned steroids to suspended Major League Baseball players, plans to plead guilty in October to illegally distributing the performance enhancement drugs.
“We’ve resolved the case,” Bosch’s defense attorney, Guy Lewis, told U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles on Wednesday in Miami federal court. “It’s going to be resolved with a (guilty) plea.”
Bosch, who initially pleaded not guilty after he surrendered last month, has signed a plea agreement admitting to his criminal activity at a Coral Gables, Florida, anti-aging clinic that allegedly sold testosterone to New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and other players. He was scheduled for trial on Monday, but the agreement precludes it.
Bosch said nothing during Wednesday’s pre-trial hearing. Afterward, Lewis declined to comment on why his client — a notorious figure in baseball — decided to change his plea to guilty.
Bosch, accused of selling more than 5,000 units of testosterone to both professional and high school ballplayers, faces up to 10 years in prison, according to the plea agreement. He has agreed to assist the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. attorney’s office in the investigation, which could help him obtain a significantly lesser sentence.
Last month, Bosch and six other defendants were arrested on charges of conspiring to sell the illegal steroids — one year after more than a dozen Major League Baseball players were suspended in connection with the clinic probe, including Rodriguez. The arrests marked the climax of the biggest doping scandal in baseball history.
The six defendants, including Rodriguez’s cousin, are accused of conspiring with Bosch to distribute the steroids supplied by his clinic between 2008 and 2013. Bosch, who led some people to believe he was a licensed medical doctor, is the former owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables.
In recently filed court papers, the U.S. attorney’s office revealed that 122 electronic surveillance recordings — audio and video — were made of Bosch and the other defendants during the federal investigation. It gained momentum early last year after the Miami New Times broke the story about Bosch’s alleged sale of steroids to Major League ballplayers and others.
None of Bosch’s customers have been charged in the federal case.
The federal investigation is shrouded in secrecy. Prosecutors Pat Sullivan and Sharad Motiani and defense attorneys Lewis and Susy Elena Ribero-Ayala have agreed that no evidence — including the names of customers — can be shared with outside parties, including Major League Baseball. The clinic’s customers also included Miami-Dade high school ballplayers.
Gayles, the federal judge, has granted a protective order restricting the sharing of the evidence.
Photo: Walter Michot/Miami Herald/MCT