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Guilty plea from seller of supplements with steroids, aromatase inhibitor

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Georgia man knowingly marketed unapproved and potentially unsafe drugs, according to his plea.

Federal regulators allege anabolic steroids and an aromatase inhibitor were in a number of supplements sold between 2016 and 2019 by a Georgia man, who pleaded guilty to criminal charges this week.

James Chadwick Brooks, 41, of Norcross, and his company, CCB Nutrition LLC, were the subjects of a criminal complaint filed after a probe by FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations. Both entered guilty pleas to a charge of introducing an unapproved new drug into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead FDA and consumers.

Investigators alleged that Brooks marketed supplements containing anabolic steroids such as androsterone, trestolone, epiandrosterone and methylstenbolone to the bodybuilding and fitness communities. Brooks also allegedly distributed supplements that included a product labeled as containing Arimistane, an aromatase inhibitor typically used with steroids to decrease estrogen production.

Aromatase inhibitors, in particular, have been linked to significant health risks, such as a decreased rate of bone maturation and growth, decreased sperm production, infertility, aggressive behavior, adrenal insufficiency, kidney failure and liver dysfunction, according to FDA.

Anabolic steroids are considered Schedule III substances, and they may have dangerous effects on users, including increasing the risk of liver damage, coronary artery disease, strokes and heart attacks, the agency says.

In a news release announcing the pleas, FDA said Brooks and his company “seriously risked the health and safety of consumers.”

According to information contained in court documents, Brooks hired an unregistered contract manufacturer to make many of the illegal products and import the materials needed in their manufacture, and he did it “to help hide his involvement.”

Investigators said Brooks was responsible for the distribution of at least $350,000 worth of supplements that contained the unapproved drugs. He agreed to forfeit $150,000 as part of his plea.

Brooks is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia and he faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison. His attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the case.

A social media page for “Chad Brooks” says he has been the owner of CCB Nutrition since October 2011. The company is described as a full-service dietary supplement contract manufacturer that specializes in solid dose capsule manufacturing as well as powders. A website for the company boasts an FDA-registered facility and that supplement products are produced in accordance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs).

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