NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A U.S. Navy petty officer pleaded guilty for his role in a multi-state anabolic steroid conspiracy that operated across the country.
Court documents say authorities first received information about 34-year-old Erik Eckert, a Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy, distributing anabolic steroids in Norfolk back in February of 2020.
Further investigation later revealed that Eckert was receiving wholesale quantities of anabolic steroids from a drug trafficking organization run by his co-conspirator, Michael Lambert.
Lambert pleaded guilty to drug distribution charges in early 2021. Officials say Eckert then sold the steroids to others, including fellow service members.
Eckert is one of six members of the trafficking network, led by Lambert, who have been charged in this case. In early 2020, Lambert and his wife, Laura Lambert, rented a residence in Surry County.
Authorities say the couple used the residence where to manufacture liquid and pill-form steroids for wholesale distribution.
Lambert’s products were advertised on various underground internet forums and, with the assistance of his co-conspirators, the group shipped wholesale quantities of steroids throughout the country.
Court documents showed the Lamberts using the proceeds from the conspiracy to purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry, and a horse, among other items.
Eckert was initially charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances. He is facing a maximum of 10 years during his sentencing date on October 12.