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Ex-Mansfield man arraigned in steroids case

FORT WORTH -- A former Mansfield man accused of selling large amounts of anabolic steroids out of his home -- then evading the law as a fugitive for more than 10 months -- was arraigned Friday morning in federal court.

Joshua Hodnik, 30, had been running from North Texas authorities since August 2007, when a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment charging him with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Prosecutors said he had been using his Mansfield home as a distribution hub for anabolic steroids. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but Hodnik fled and was not found until this summer.

At the behest of the Food and Drug Administration, the Tarrant County Narcotics Unit and the Oklahoma Veterinarian Board, law enforcement officials had set up surveillance on Hodnik at his home. He was arrested without incident on July 7.

In the interim, law enforcement officers said, he’d tried to set up the same type of steroid-making factory in Oklahoma City that he had in Mansfield.

“At that point, we were able to secure a search warrant for the house, and we found cash, manufactured steroids, unprocessed steroid powder, human growth hormone, anabolic steroid packaging, about $10,000 in cash, and some marijuana and other drug paraphernalia,” said Mark Myers of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

There were at least 185 vials of steroids and enough material to make much more, officials said. The worth of the steroids was hard to figure because it is unknown exactly what was being manufactured with the unprocessed powder, but a conservative estimate was “several hundred thousand dollars.”

Hodnik, considered a serious flight risk, has been in federal custody since.

Hodnik is charged with one count of possession of anabolic steroids, a Schedule III controlled substance, with intent to distribute. If convicted of the charge alleged in the indictment, Hodnik faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

His trial was set by U.S. District Judge John McBryde for Sept. 15.