Alberta Naturopathic Doctor, Eldon Dahl, describing his home and family being raided at gun point and held for 11 hours by Health Canada and the RCMP; he called his lawyer and the lawyer told him to document with video or still camera everything they were doing and they would not allow him. He specifically names the types of vitamins and supplements that were evidence of illegal activity. The key point in the video is when Dr. Dahl says “you can get these supplements at any U.S. health food store.” These were not legal in Canada, and Dr. Dahl was in big trouble back in 2004, according to the account given at the end of this post.
More on the story:
B.C. man gets house arrest, $350,000 fine for selling 120 kg of the banned drugs
Courtesy The Globe & Mail
by Mark Hume
Monday, May 31, 2004 – The Globe & Mail, Page A8
Vancouver, BC — The biggest steroid smuggling case ever in Canada began when a Canada Customs agent at the Pacific Highway crossing in Surrey, B.C., grew suspicious of a seemingly innocent notation on an invoice.
The customs declaration said the package contained a shipment of health supplements including calcium pyruvate, a substance found in red apples, and inositol hexaphosphate, a chemical found in brown rice. But tagged on to the list of contents was this notation: “Candy Samples, no quantity, unit price is $2.00.”
It seemed out of place.
Tearing open the box intended for E.D. Internal Health, a supplier to health-food stores across Canada, agents found a gold tin labelled “19-nor-androstenedione.” Instead of finding a candy sample with health supplements, Canada Customs had stumbled on a shipment of powerful and potentially dangerous anabolic steroids.
In a small provincial courtroom in Surrey this week, Madam Justice Jean Lytwyn sentenced the importer of those drugs, Eldon Garth Dahl, to 18 months of house arrest and fined him and his company $350,000.
The 48-year-old businessman who lives in Langley, just outside Vancouver, could easily afford it. Over the past four years, Mr. Dahl sold more than $640,000 worth of steroids as he built his health-food wholesale company into a thriving business.
In an unusual legal twist, the Crown obtained a conviction without having found the majority of the drugs. Although 15 kilograms of steroids were seized in the package at the border crossing, and several more kilos were taken at an E.D. Internal Health warehouse where pills were packaged, most of the drugs had already been moved to retail outlets by the time customs agents showed up.
But the Crown was able to prove, through a paper and electronic trail of invoices and payments, that Mr. Dahl had smuggled — and sold — more than 120 kg of the potentially dangerous drugs.
The court heard that the biggest previous steroid-smuggling case was a 2001 incident at Vancouver International Airport, which involved 257,000 pills weighing just 1.28 kg.
Mr. Dahl imported nearly 100 times that amount.
Crown prosecutor Janna Hyman said company records indicate the steroids were sold to health stores across Canada, where they were marketed as nutritional supplements under a variety of names, including Health Solutions, International Health and Your Choice.
“The products . . . were marketed as health supplements that would increase sports performance and optimize the health of those who used them,” Ms. Hyman said in a sentencing submission.
“In most cases, they were marketed as alternatives to steroids and with minimal or no warning labels as to potential dangers and side effects.”
Among the steroids imported by Mr. Dahl, was androstenedione, the drug used by baseball player Mark McGwire when he set a home-run record in 1998. Androstenedione, androstenediol and prasterone, or DHEA, all of which were smuggled in by Mr. Dahl, are legally available south of the border but banned in Canada.
In her submission to court, Ms. Hyman said the drugs, which are taken by athletes to build muscle mass, pose a threat to those who use them.
“These anabolic steroids are extremely dangerous to human health and the side effects that are known to result from prescribed doses are aggravated to an unknown degree when they are ingested knowingly or unknowingly in a completely unregulated and unsupervised manner,” she said.
Ms. Hyman said the specific side effects include liver tumours, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, acne, immune system suppression and increased aggressive behaviour.
The Crown prosecutor also told the court that there is growing evidence that anabolic steroids can become addictive. She expressed concern about the way Mr. Dahl’s company was packaging steroids as health supplements, saying people could have been misled into thinking they weren’t dangerous.
In convicting Mr. Dahl on 33 counts of making false customs statements, smuggling and possession of controlled substances, Judge Lytwyn described him as “the mastermind” of a well-organized business that largely imported and sold legitimate health supplements.
She rejected the Crown’s call for a four-year prison term, saying Mr. Dahl had no record, was unlikely to reoffend and had lost his company because of the investigation.