Court documents: Rushville man admits to distributing steroids ‘all over U.S.’

(WISH Photo, file/Bennett Haeberle)

RUSHVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Rushville man told investigators he made up to $2,000 a week making and distributing packages of anabolic steroids that were shipped all across the United States, according to court records obtained by I-Team 8.

In court records filed Tuesday, David Starkey admits he began distributing and making anabolic steroids last November after a friend connected him to a man named “Z” in Poland. Starkey claimed “Z” would supply him with money – usually $900 – via Western Union and the “stuff.” Starkey added that he would distribute 10 to 20 packages of steroids a week, according to the records.

Starkey, 39, and his wife, Holly, 34, were arrested Tuesday and charged with dealing a controlled substance in additional to four other charges. Investigators called the bust the largest seizure of anabolic steroids in the state of Indiana. Law enforcement sources later called the bust was “significant” and noted it had international ties.

Holly Starkey bonded out of jail Tuesday, but declined to speak to an I-Team 8 reporter at her home.

“This is private property please leave,” she said. From jail, David Starkey declined a request to be interviewed.

Until now, it was unclear how authorities netted the bust.

However, the 11-page court filing states that authorities conducted a “controlled delivery” of fake steroids at Starkey’s home Tuesday morning. The real package of steroids had already been seized in California. Earlier in the day, Starkey was seen dropping off 12 packages at the Rushville post office. Starkey later told investigators they contained vials of steroids, the court records state.

Rushville Police, U.S. Postal Service inspectors and members of the DEA also detailed how – after making the delivery – they conducted a search warrant and seized several pounds of pill, powdered and liquid steroids, along with $9058 in cash. Starkey later told investigators “some of the money is from drug proceeds but not all of it.”

Here’s a portion of the court records which spell out how Starkey said the alleged operation worked:

Starkey advised that Z would pay him $10 per package of viles (sic) that he distributed and $5 per package of pills that he would distribute for Z in the U.S. Starkey advised that he assumed that this was illegal but stated that he had no money and no job and he had to do what he had to do. Starkey advises that he does not like drugs and does not like kids doing drugs. Starkey advises that he does not know who is getting this stuff and how safe it is.”

According to the records, Starkey told Z he was without a job and Z forwarded him $500, telling him to buy supplies used to manufacture the steroids. Starkey later told investigators he used his wife’s credit cards to make the purchases. Starkey’s wife, Holly, denied any knowledge of David’s alleged operation, the court records state.

DEA agent Dennis Wichern said investigators believe most of the steroids came from China.

“It truly is the emerging new arena,” said Wichern, adding that steroids are just part of a growing Internet-based market for synthetic drugs like Spice and M-bomb. “You don’t know what they are, people are getting sick and disease from them. That wasn’t a pharmaceutical lab run by a legitimate pharmacists, that was a guy in his kitchen making dope.”

At last check Wednesday, it was not clear when Holly or David Starkey would appear in court. It could be as early as Thursday, jail officials said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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