Five months after drug enforcement authorities raided Lowen’s, the popular pharmacy at the corner of Third Avenue and 69th Street, state investigators pounded down the doors again on Tuesday, this time seizing enough raw powder to make nearly a million doses of human growth hormone.
And cops arrested one worker at the pharmacy, according to NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
ESPN magazine reported that investigators found 90 grams of raw human growth hormone, worth an estimated $7.2 million, in the Tuesday raid. They also found quantities of three popular steroids, testosterone, nandrolone and stanazolol.
One of the 20 boxes hauled away by officers contained prescription requests from the Health and Rejuvenation Center, a clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the New York Daily News reported that St. Louis Cardinals star Rick Ankiel received his HGH, according to ESPN.
The records are being turned over to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for further investigation. Twenty computers also were seized by the NYPD.
On Wednesday, Browne confirmed that six officers are being investigated “for the possible improper use of prescriptions to obtain anabolic steroids for non-medical, personal use.” He said he anticipated no arrests of any cops, though the use of steroids “could result in disciplinary action.”
Lowen’s has presented the image of the picture-perfect mom-and-pop store on Third Avenue for decades. But the store is actually owned by Julius Nasso, who was sentenced to prison in 2003 for conspiring with Gambino crime family members to extort money from the actor Steven Segal.
The quiet image of the store was shattered back in May, when state investigators made their first raid and hauled out $200,000 in steroids and growth hormones, The Brooklyn Paper reported.
Residents expressed shock — again — that Bay Ridge could be at the heart of a Major League Baseball and NYPD steroid investigation.
“Steroids coming out of Bay Ridge and going to cheating Major Leaguers — are you kidding me?” asked baseball fan Chad Nardine. “I have always liked Lowen’s, but this is getting quite strange”
It’ll get even stranger for customers.
On Wednesday morning, Lowen’s was closed with only a sign posted on the door reading: “Due to mechanical problems, we are temporarily closed.”