Trim and tanned, with muscle filling out his frame, the doctor looked every bit the anti-aging miracle man. Along with the new focus came an important new relationship. The more product Colao pushed, the more he received off the books. And the more he received, the more he could sell for cash, Haskins said. Colao sold drugs," Haskins said. There was no doctor-patient relationship here. Larger sales were handled by Biancamano, the former office manager, according to Nieves and Lehar. They paid cash. I would see them counting money. People have nothing else better to do than make up stories.
Asbury Park police Department of Corrections State Police It was around when the first law enforcement officers and firefighters came to Colao for steroids, employees and patients said. Each month brought new faces from new departments. By early , the office had become "a hangout for cops and firefighters," Nieves said. Eight officers came from the Edison Police Department, seven from Paterson. Other clients included a dozen NJ Transit police officers, at least three state troopers and 16 state corrections officers working in seven prisons. One corrections officer, assigned to Southern State Correctional Facility in Cumberland County, lived more than miles away.
There were patrolmen and deputy chiefs, detectives and union representatives. Two patients counseled students against drug use through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, which lists anabolic steroids on its national website as "one of the most dangerous categories of performance-enhancing drugs. Residents of Hudson County formed the backbone of the practice, prescription records show. At least 40 Jersey City police officers and 27 city firefighters received hormones from Colao.
Smaller numbers of officers came from Bayonne, Hoboken and Union City. Fourteen more officers represented the county sheriff's and corrections departments. At the time of their treatment, the officers and firefighters ranged in age from 23 to 59, with almost three-quarters under To medical experts interviewed by The Star-Ledger , the clearest indication of something amiss in Colao's practice is the number of young officers and firefighters — men still in their physical prime — who obtained steroids from him.
More than three dozen of the identified by the newspaper were in their mid- to late 20s at the time, and dozens more were in their early to mids. Stise did not respond to requests for comment, and a lawyer representing him in the lawsuit did not return phone calls.
For dozens of patients, records show, Colao served up steroid cocktails, combining testosterone, HCG and stanozolol, the generic name for Winstrol, a drug popular with athletes and bodybuilders. Nandrolone is one of three steroids former major league pitcher Roger Clemens is alleged to have used. McGovern, 40, was charged with misdemeanor assault and suspended for seven days after getting into a fight in Point Pleasant Beach in May He did not return calls for comment.
New Jersey middleweight bodybuilding title in Galan has had a tumultuous tenure in Passaic County. He later sued the department, claiming the tests were ordered illegally. The results were not made public. Last year, he was criminally charged with official misconduct for allegedly tipping off a drug dealer to an investigation. Galan returned to the department in July.
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He did not respond to requests for comment. That same year, he would appear shirtless in a beefcake calendar sold under the name Calendar Cops and produced for charity by the publisher of NJ COPS, a monthly law enforcement magazine. He spoke with the fervor of an evangelist, salting his pitch with first-person details.
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In the exam rooms of his Jersey City office, Joseph Colao told patients hormones had changed his life, according to employees and several officers and firefighters who were patients. Growth hormone, he said, was as close to the "fountain of youth" as a drug could get. And if it was sexual prowess you wanted, testosterone was just the thing.
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Among some two dozen patients who spoke to The Star-Ledger about Colao, not one could recall him discussing the serious health problems that can result from the drugs. Those problems include liver damage, prostate enlargement and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. As the practice grew, Nieves said, Colao upgraded security, installing video cameras and a locking system that required patients to be buzzed in. More of them seemed to be edgy or quick to lose their temper, she said.
One incident still frightens her. It was a gray day, near dusk. Then she hurried away. The Star-Ledger confirmed the officer's identity and prescriptions but is withholding his name at the request of Nieves, who said she fears retaliation. The changing practice was confusing, even alarming, to Nieves. But the money motivated him.
Some patients, for instance, bypassed the typical appointment process. Looking back, Lehar said, she should have realized Colao was breaking medical protocol, if not the law. Today, that idea haunts her.
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What if someone had died, she wonders. What if she had gotten in trouble? Nieves maintains a softer view of Colao. Despite her concerns about what went on, she said, she believes the physician cared about his patients and wanted to help them, however unorthodox his methods. The man on the stoop looked "wild-eyed.
Mathias Bolton stood inside the vestibule of his Jersey City apartment building, trying to decide what to do. Moments earlier, after hearing footsteps and bangs on his roof, he had called police to report a possible break-in. Then he had rushed down the stairs to let the officers in. Bolton had expected to find a uniformed officer when he opened the door on that August night in Instead he saw a man in street clothes, with no badge visible, shouting at him, he claims in a lawsuit against the Jersey City Police Department.
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Did you call the police? I just let the guys in who were on the roof. Bolton claims Vargas never identified himself as a police officer and, in a steroid-induced rage, sent him sprawling with a punch to the face. Bolton contends Vargas then tossed him down the stairs to the sidewalk, where other arriving officers, including Stise, continued to beat him. The officers provide a markedly different account of the incident in legal papers, saying Vargas and others on the scene clearly identified themselves, repeatedly ordered Bolton to stop resisting and acted with restraint in subduing a man they claimed was punching and kicking them.
Bolton was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer. The counts were later dropped. In October, both sides agreed to resolve the case through binding arbitration.
It remains ongoing. The Bolton suit is one of at least five alleging brutality or civil rights violations by police officers or corrections officers who filled prescriptions for steroids from Colao. Detective Salvatore Capriglione, 44, and Patrolman Scot Sofield, 36, are among five Edison officers accused of beating Lenus Germe, 44, as he lay on the ground in May A video camera in a nearby patrol car recorded the incident.
Later, at Edison police headquarters, the officers allegedly threw a handcuffed Germe down a flight of stairs and beat him into unconsciousness, leaving him with a concussion and internal injuries that required hospital treatment, according to a lawsuit Germe filed against the department. Germe pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to a year in county jail. He has since been released. A spokesman for the agency declined to comment.
Records show Sofield filled a total of three prescriptions for HCG and testosterone in December and January Capriglione filled nine prescriptions for testosterone, stanozolol and HCG between April and July Sciarra, called his client a decorated officer who has a "spotless employment record" and who did nothing wrong, either in the arrest of Germe or in taking medication prescribed by Colao.
Alex Ambros said he knew a questionable doctor when he saw one.
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Goldstein was stripped of his medical license in A year later, he committed suicide. While waiting for his appointment, he said, he noticed he was the only overweight person in the room. The doctor, he said, raced from exam room to exam room, as if he had too many patients and too little time. Colao gave him prescriptions for phentermine, a weight loss drug, and an injectable liquid.
Ambros said the vial sat in his refrigerator for five months. Then he threw it away. Motley, who retired earlier this year at age 50, said Colao told him to eliminate pasta and cheese from his diet, then explained how certain medications could change his life. The retired firefighter said Colao gave him prescriptions for AndroGel, a testosterone cream, and Norditropin, a brand of growth hormone.
Today, Motley said he believes Colao did nothing inappropriate, saying the physician enjoyed a stellar reputation among men in uniform because he could help them feel better, get stronger and improve their sex lives. Anabolic steroid:.