A former U.S. Marshals Service deputy pleaded guilty in San Jose Wednesday to distributing unapproved and misbranded drugs for sale nationwide, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Aris Aristidis Vavasis, 51, sold purported dietary supplements through his Brooklyn-based company Nutrition Dome Inc., including to the San Jose area, where the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against him in July, federal prosecutors said.
The supplements — “Methastadrol” and “Lipodrene” — contained misbranded drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Methastadrol contained the anabolic steroid methasterone and Lipodrene contained ephedrine, a drug the FDA made illegal to include in dietary supplements in 2004 because of the risk of illness or injury.
Vavasis worked as a deputy with the U.S. Marshals in New York and operated the Nutrition Dome business between 2010 and 2012 on his home computer and through U.S. Marshals computer systems.
He resigned his position as a deputy after federal agents served a search warrant at the business in 2012, according to prosecutors.
Vavasis pleaded guilty to all charges Wednesday after a plea agreement with prosecutors and was released on his own recognizance. His sentencing hearing is scheduled in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Dec. 22.
He faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison, six years of supervised release and a fine of $10,000, but the terms of his plea agreement with prosecutors was not disclosed.