Brother of wrestler Kurt Angle among three to plead guilty for roles in darknet steroid operation

Kurt Angle

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Actor Kurt Angle arrives at the premiere of "Warrior" in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Kurt Angle's brother Eric Angle pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to a conspiracy charge.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The brother of retired professional wrestler Kurt Angle is one of three people who pleaded guilty Monday in an operation that prosecutors said manufactured and sold steroids on the darknet.

Ronald Roginsky, John Ambrose and Eric Angle were part of a group that sold anabolic steroids and other controlled substances. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the organization operated online under the username “qu4ntum” on sites such as AlphaBay, Dream Market and Wall Street.

Prosecutors said members of the organization took steps to hide their identities as they imported chemicals from China and shipped steroids throughout the U.S. While much of the business was done on the darknet, members also sold on the regular web and in person, according to court records.

A grand jury indicted the trio Sept. 18. Their trial was set for next week in front of U.S. District Judge James Gwin, though the defendants reached agreements with the government. Ambrose and Angle pleaded guilty Monday to a drug conspiracy charge, while Roginsky admitted to drug and money laundering conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors said Roginsky, of Brunswick, and Ambrose, of Chicago, were responsible for the sale of at least 60,000 units of steroids. Angle, who lives outside of Pittsburgh, admitted Monday that he bought 721 grams of steroids in liquid form for redistribution.

Eric Angle is the older brother of World Wrestling Entertainment hall of famer and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. He was also a wrestler, appearing on TV along his brother in the early 2000s in high-profile fights against The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.

Court records portray Roginsky, 52, as the head of the organization. He manufactured the steroids and initially sold them using online bodybuilding forums. He used ten different Post Office boxes and a UPS store to receive the chemicals to make the steroids and to receive payments.

He agreed to fulfill darknet sales in fall 2018 and laundered proceeds through bank accounts and a line of credit. Roginsky also used money from the operation to make a down payment on a home and to buy a car.

Roginsky told an investigator from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service during a November 2018 raid at his house that he had not worked in the previous two years.

He agreed last year to forfeit a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado, a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 1985 Buick Regal, as well as bitcoin, gift cards and more than $213,000.

Gwin will sentence the trio in April.

If you would like to comment on this story, please visit Monday’s crime and courts comments section.