Former McKees Rocks pharmacist gets 2.5 years in steroid ring
A former McKees Rocks pharmacist lived a double life as a loving family man who got involved with an interstate steroid and hormone trafficking ring that included a former doctor for the Steelers, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Maurice Cohill sentenced William Sadowski, 47, to 2 1⁄2 years in prison and two years of probation. Sadowski, who pleaded guilty in November, apologized to more than 20 relatives for shaming them by ignoring his principles and ethics out of greed.
“I'm so sorry,” a tearful Sadowski said to his wife. “I just hope I can make it up to you and our daughters someday.”
Sadowski's two brothers and a brother-in-law asked Cohill to show him mercy.
Clem Wandrisco III, his brother-in-law, said Sadowski often gave time and money to help others.
“He's just always been there for the tough times,” he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kall argued that Sadowski was living a double life.
Though good to his family, he knowingly got involved in the drug trafficking ring by taking referrals from an indicted Alabama pharmacist, Kall said. Sadowski faces sentencing in state court on March 4 for conspiring with another pharmacist to defraud Medicaid of $1 million, Kall said.
“The defendant knew the risks of going into this business,” he said.
Tina Miller, Sadowski's attorney, said her client's life hit rock bottom when the government raided his records because his family found out what he had done.
Despite the humiliation his actions caused, family members attended his hearing “to show that he continues to have family support,” she said.
Sadowski drew up a business plan to start a company after his release from prison. It would sell vitamins, foods or food supplements with purported health benefits, Miller said. Sadowski remains free on a $25,000 bond until he reports to prison.
Sadowski was president and co-owner of ANEWrx, which is licensed in 45 states. When he pleaded guilty, he acknowledged paying commissions to Dr. Richard Rydze, 62, of the Strip District when Rydze's patients filled prescriptions for anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and related products.
The Steelers employed Rydze for 22 years until 2007, when investigators questioned him about using a personal credit card to buy $150,000 worth of human growth hormones and testosterone from a Florida pharmacy.
A federal grand jury indicted Rydze on 185 charges of health care fraud and trafficking in anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and painkillers. His trial has not been scheduled.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com.