Eight Anne Arundel County police officers face administrative charges of illegally getting steroids from a Dundalk doctor who pleaded guilty in May to prescribing the drug, police sources said.
Officers John Church, Scott Gall, Gerry Jones, James Cifala and Detective Tim Dailey have been charged with conduct unbecoming a police officer, department sources said. Two other officers have not yet been served with charging documents, the sources said, and the identity of the eighth officer was unclear.
Lt. Hank Snow, commander of the Internal Affairs Unit, said the officers are accused of obtaining the steroids for nonmedical purposes.
Officers Dailey and Jones would not comment on the charges, and the others did not return telephone calls yesterday.
Use of steroids is against departmental policy. If found guilty, the officers could receive punishment ranging from letters of reprimand to dismissal. The officers may choose to have an administrative hearing or accept discipline from Chief Robert P. Russell.
"We are now in the disciplinary processes and are waiting for the officers to notify us of their decisions," Lieutenant Snow said.
The officers' charges stem from the investigation and conviction of Dr. George Hebeka, 61, who was sentenced in May to home detention and 15 months of probation for one count of illegal distribution of steroids. He admitted prescribing the drug for nonmedical purposes.
Federal officials said Hebeka had earned a reputation as "the steroid doctor" who would sell prescriptions without medical need. They said he would not examine patients or require routine follow-up visits.
Officials said the police officers who allegedly bought steroid prescriptions from Hebeka would not face federal charges, but information on them was given to their agencies for administrative action.
Of the 25 officers who allegedly purchased steroids, three work for the state Department of Public Safety, two for Baltimore County Police Department, seven for Anne Arundel County Police Department, seven for the Baltimore Police Department, four for the Baltimore County Sheriff's Department and two for the Maryland State Police. Two Baltimore Fire Department employees were named as customers.