Edward humphrey arrest record in nj

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:. Nandrolone, stanozolol and testosterone derivatives are just a few. It's the display of irrational behavior, such as anger, aggression, confusion or recklessness. Generally, the higher the dose of steroids, the more likely this behavior occurs. A normal ratio is about , while a ratio above is enough for disqualification from many sporting events.

The Jersey City Police Department used a ratio as the threshold during a steroids probe in Stacking: Taking more than one anabolic steroid, sometimes in combination with other hormones, at the same time to maximize muscle growth. Customized schedules for taking steroids to build muscle mass. Cycles typically last between six weeks and several months, followed by steroid-free periods to give the body recovery time.

Somatropin, the biological equivalent of HGH, is synthetically produced. How it's taken:. HGH is legal for adults with very specific medical conditions: muscle wasting from AIDS, short bowel syndrome or a growth hormone deficiency. The latter is a condition that affects one of every , American adults annually, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Promotes muscle growth, decreases body fat and affects the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

Swelling, joint pain, headache, sore bones, carpal tunnel syndrome and insomnia. While it is not known to cause cancer, HGH can speed the growth of cancerous tumors. How it's taken. Treating infertility in women and decreased function of the testicles in. It can also help reverse some of the testicular atrophy that occurs in some steroid users.

Enlargement of male breasts, mood changes, headaches. Former L. In the body, testosterone is the male sex hormone known for its muscle-building properties. Gels that are rubbed into the skin, injections and orally. AndroGel and Testim are common gels. Delatestryl and Depo-Testosterone are two popular injections.

Commonly used to treat aging males with hypogonadism, a medical term for testosterone deficiency. Injections with higher percentages of testosterone are more potent and notorious for use by athletes and bodybuilders to gain muscle. Long-term use can lead to testicular atrophy or pituitary gland damage. Other rare, but more severe, risks: hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular strain, mood changes, high blood pressure, and liver or kidney damage.

What is it? How it's taken: Tablets or injections Brand names: Winstrol, although that brand is no longer in production in the United States. Legalities: Regulated as a Schedule III drug, meaning a valid prescription is required for possession. What it does: Promotes muscle growth. In the past, it has been prescribed for patients with osteoporosis, growth deficiencies and hereditary angioedema, a disease that causes swelling.

Laud Humphreys

More severe risks include liver damage, cardiovascular strain, mood changes and hardening of the arteries. In the news: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic gold medal after testing positive for stanozolol. Colao was no hero to Leonard Era. He lost control of his bladder and fell unconscious. At 37, he had suffered a stroke. Three months earlier, the Bayonne man had gone to see Colao because he wanted to get stronger and slim down, according to a lawsuit filed in the case.

In all respects but one — Era suffered from hypertension — he was perfectly healthy. Yet Colao diagnosed him with adult growth hormone deficiency and testosterone deficiency, putting the corrections officer on a weekly regimen of Saizen, a form of growth hormone, and HCG, according to the suit. Colao was negligent. He deviated from a generally accepted standard.

Today, Era still has trouble speaking and can barely move his right arm, said his father, also named Leonard. The family settled with Colao's insurance company for an undisclosed sum. Four months after Era's stroke, another incident would draw the first law enforcement scrutiny of Colao's prescribing habits. Andrew Wietecha, a muscled year-old police officer in North Bergen, was charged with marijuana possession and drunken driving in July after crashing his car in Seaside Park, an Ocean County beach community. When ordered to take a drug test days later, Wietecha listed the medications he was on, as required by state regulations.

One of those drugs was testosterone. Colao assured investigators the prescriptions were valid and necessary. At the time, Stoma said, there was no reason to doubt him. Wietecha, suspended after his arrest, never returned to the force. In the early morning hours of Aug. For two decades, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and a handful of academic experts have urgently warned about the growing use of steroids in law enforcement, calling it a problem that puts both users and the public at risk.

Those warnings have largely been ignored. There is no way to determine how many law enforcement officers or firefighters use steroids, a class of substances Harvard Medical School researcher Harrison G. Pope Jr. No agency keeps track of steroid-related suspensions or arrests, and surveys, where they exist, are considered unreliable. In the absence of hard data, researchers rely on anecdotal evidence.

From New Jersey to California, in departments large and small, scores of law enforcement officers have been arrested, suspended or reassigned to desk duty in just the past few years for buying steroids or growth hormone without a prescription. In some of those cases, officers were selling the substances to colleagues. Left unanswered is the question of how many officers and firefighters obtain the drugs with the aid of doctors who fabricate diagnoses, as Colao is alleged to have done.

Experts say those transactions, conducted with the veneer of authenticity in private clinics and offices, are almost certainly on the rise, the result of a booming anti-aging movement that hypes hormones as the antidote to aches, wrinkles and sagging bodies. In New Jersey, law enforcement officials and union leaders said they were not aware of any agencies that randomly test employees for steroids, as they do for cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs. Some chiefs cite the extra expense. Over the past decade, departments in New Jersey have taken disciplinary action against officers for steroid use in just a handful of cases.

Most cases involved a legal challenge brought by the accused officers or by police unions. The details are found in legal documents stemming from a suit filed against the chief by seven of his officers. The captain told Comey he suspected Jersey City officers were customers, too. Comey turned over the list. He soon learned at least 40 of the department's officers had filled prescriptions for steroids through Lowen's and that at least 36 had obtained HGH from the pharmacy. Within days, Comey ordered an unknown number of officers to provide a urine sample to be tested for elevated levels of testosterone, a hallmark of steroid use.

Comey would not discuss the test results or provide details of the probe. Legal papers show at least 20 officers were relieved of their weapons and placed on modified duty. Of those, most returned to full duty two months later, after undergoing follow-up tests. One officer, Nicholas Kramer, continued to show a high testosterone level during a retest.

He was later declared unfit for duty and served a day suspension without pay. Kramer, now 33, returned to the force in January of last year. He declined comment. Kramer and six other officers later filed suit against the department and Comey, claiming the chief had violated their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs included Victor Vargas and Michael Stise, accused of brutality in the federal lawsuit brought by Jersey City resident Mathias Bolton, and Brian McGovern, the officer who had filled 20 prescriptions and who was charged with assault in Point Pleasant Beach last year.

District Justice Peter G. In response to questions from The Star-Ledger , Comey issued a statement calling the internal probe "a difficult situation to deal with" and saying the department was working to develop a policy "to ensure the integrity of the agency moving forward. He refused to say if that policy involves testing for steroids.

Gladys Nieves believes Joseph Colao saw the end coming. Part of her wonders if he embraced it. The physician's chronic heart condition appeared to be worsening. He had failed a stress test in the spring of , but rather than slow down, he continued to work and hour days, often missing lunch. He also sometimes skipped his prescribed doses of Plavix, which helps prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attacks, Nieves said.

Colao told her he wanted her to be taken care of when he was gone. The walls were closing in professionally as well. Medicare had conducted a fraud investigation in Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said an incident involving a second officer in late again led to Colao. DeFazio would not describe the incident or name the officer, but he said it aroused suspicion. Because the matter involved questions of medical judgment beyond the expertise of criminal investigators, DeFazio said, he referred the case to the state Board of Medical Examiners, which licenses and disciplines doctors.

The board opened an investigation into Colao in March , though it did not contact him in the five months before his death, spokesman Jeff Lamm said. Before confronting Colao, board investigators were trying to determine if the doctor's voluminous prescriptions for steroids and HGH extended to New Jersey pharmacies, Lamm said.

As the summer of wore on, the increasing pressure weighed on Colao, Nieves said. With all of the hormones, I think he was getting disgusted by it. I think he wanted to go back to the normalcy of it all, his pain patients. A medical examiner determined the cause of death to be hardening of the arteries. The weeks that followed would be frustrating ones for Ken Kolich, the county homicide investigator.

Suddenly, the flood of calls from officers on the day Colao died made sense to Kolich. It also alarmed him. Kolich wanted to look deeper into the steroid angle, but his supervisor at the time, Capt. Vincent Doherty, ordered him to stop, the detective said. Doherty, who has since retired, denied telling Kolich police officers must be protected.

Whether I put a kibosh to it, maybe I did. Every criminal investigation into Colao was now at an end. And the search for a new doctor was on. High Crest Health, lodged in an imposing Georgian-style building in Fairfield, offers the public what it bills as an integrative medical experience. Clients can choose from chiropractic care, personal training, nutritional counseling, colon hydrotherapy and hormone replacement therapy, among other services. And almost all of them seemed to want testosterone, stanozolol or growth hormone.

Separately, the stories show how easily the substances can be obtained when a doctor chooses to abandon medical protocol, illegally churning out prescriptions based on phony diagnoses. Reporters Amy Brittain and Mark Mueller spent seven months investigating the issue and the medical practice of the late Joseph Colao, who prescribed steroids or growth hormone to at least New Jersey officers and firefighters. The Star-Ledger found Colao frequently falsified diagnoses to justify his prescriptions and illegally sold boxes of growth hormone out of his Jersey City office.

Medical conditions allowing the drugs to be prescribed legally are uncommon, but it is possible some officers who went to Colao had a legitimate need for them. The Star-Ledger also reviewed court cases, regulations governing the substances and Colao's prescription records from Lowen's Compounding Pharmacy, a Brooklyn shop through which he directed a significant portion of his hormone business. Lowen's has since changed hands.


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The current owners did not return phone calls. The reporters cross-checked birth dates from both sets of data. Because Colao prescribed the substances through pharmacies in New Jersey as well, the number of steroid users in uniform is believed to be substantially higher. The Star-Ledger attempted to reach every officer and firefighter by phone, e-mail or letter. Fifty-four responded to the inquiries. Of those, about half declined comment outright.

Others denied receiving anything from Colao despite records showing shipments from Lowen's to their homes. A few said they didn't realize the substances they took were steroids or growth hormone until told by a reporter. The Star-Ledger named officers and firefighters for a variety of reasons. Some spoke willingly about the drugs and their experiences with Colao. Others filled prescriptions for a combination of testosterone-boosting drugs, putting them at higher risk of steroid side effects such as aggression, confusion and recklessness.

The newspaper also has chosen to identify officers and firefighters who have been arrested, fired or disciplined for bad conduct, along with those named in lawsuits alleging excessive force or civil rights violations. Finally, the issue can be seen as a matter of public safety. Courts have repeatedly ruled law enforcement officers have a lower expectation of personal privacy than members of the general public given the nature of their jobs and the fact they are armed.

In one recent case, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit brought against the Jersey City police chief by seven officers who contended they had been illegally tested for steroids and placed on restricted duty.

N.J. doctor supplied steroids to hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters

Sheridan wrote in his June opinion. Research has shown steroids affect people in unpredictable ways. Some users can tolerate high doses with few ill effects. Others on low doses can grow irritable, aggressive and prone to so-called "roid rage," raising questions about judgment and fitness for duty. Several police chiefs and medical experts told The Star-Ledger armed officers and steroids make for a dangerous combination. In addition, some law enforcement officials said that if officers willingly take part in an illegal scheme of any kind, it could undermine the public trust in the officers involved.

Amy Brittain, a Shreveport, La. A graduate of Louisiana State University, she was named one of the nation's top 10 student journalists by the Scripps Howard Foundation. Brittain holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism from Contact Amy Brittain: or abrittain starledger.

Mark Mueller has worked on many investigative and explanatory projects since joining The Star-Ledger in Mueller's work has been recognized with more than a dozen regional and national awards. In , he was part of the Star-Ledger team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Contact Mark Mueller: or mmueller starledger. To Goodnight, a plastic surgeon and anti-aging doctor now in private practice, more shocking than the number of patients was the expectation they could use their insurance to pay for HGH, as they said they had done with Colao.

Biancamano worked as a sort of rainmaker at High Crest, drumming up business, Goodnight said. He knows people. Biancamano, a former bartender who emerged from personal bankruptcy in , had another connection that would later lead to some discomfort for Goodnight. The physician agreed. I just wanted good service and good quality prices. He was cleared of wrongdoing and later testified before the grand jury investigating the pharmacy. He left High Crest shortly afterward.

High Crest's owners, Neelendu and Stephanie Bose, did not return calls for comment. Goodnight said he still has about 50 law enforcement officers and firefighters in his North Haledon practice, which he calls "Dr. Goodnight's Center for Everlasting Beauty. 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. 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:. Nandrolone, stanozolol and testosterone derivatives are just a few. It's the display of irrational behavior, such as anger, aggression, confusion or recklessness. Generally, the higher the dose of steroids, the more likely this behavior occurs.

A normal ratio is about , while a ratio above is enough for disqualification from many sporting events. The Jersey City Police Department used a ratio as the threshold during a steroids probe in Stacking: Taking more than one anabolic steroid, sometimes in combination with other hormones, at the same time to maximize muscle growth.

Customized schedules for taking steroids to build muscle mass. Cycles typically last between six weeks and several months, followed by steroid-free periods to give the body recovery time. Somatropin, the biological equivalent of HGH, is synthetically produced. How it's taken:. HGH is legal for adults with very specific medical conditions: muscle wasting from AIDS, short bowel syndrome or a growth hormone deficiency.

The latter is a condition that affects one of every , American adults annually, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Promotes muscle growth, decreases body fat and affects the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Swelling, joint pain, headache, sore bones, carpal tunnel syndrome and insomnia. While it is not known to cause cancer, HGH can speed the growth of cancerous tumors. How it's taken. Treating infertility in women and decreased function of the testicles in.

It can also help reverse some of the testicular atrophy that occurs in some steroid users. Enlargement of male breasts, mood changes, headaches. Former L. In the body, testosterone is the male sex hormone known for its muscle-building properties. Gels that are rubbed into the skin, injections and orally. AndroGel and Testim are common gels. Delatestryl and Depo-Testosterone are two popular injections. Commonly used to treat aging males with hypogonadism, a medical term for testosterone deficiency. Injections with higher percentages of testosterone are more potent and notorious for use by athletes and bodybuilders to gain muscle.

Long-term use can lead to testicular atrophy or pituitary gland damage. Other rare, but more severe, risks: hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular strain, mood changes, high blood pressure, and liver or kidney damage. What is it? How it's taken: Tablets or injections Brand names: Winstrol, although that brand is no longer in production in the United States.

Legalities: Regulated as a Schedule III drug, meaning a valid prescription is required for possession. What it does: Promotes muscle growth. In the past, it has been prescribed for patients with osteoporosis, growth deficiencies and hereditary angioedema, a disease that causes swelling. More severe risks include liver damage, cardiovascular strain, mood changes and hardening of the arteries. In the news: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic gold medal after testing positive for stanozolol.

Colao was no hero to Leonard Era. He lost control of his bladder and fell unconscious.

New Jersey Criminal Expungement Lawyer - Restore NJ Firearm Rights

At 37, he had suffered a stroke. Three months earlier, the Bayonne man had gone to see Colao because he wanted to get stronger and slim down, according to a lawsuit filed in the case. In all respects but one — Era suffered from hypertension — he was perfectly healthy. Yet Colao diagnosed him with adult growth hormone deficiency and testosterone deficiency, putting the corrections officer on a weekly regimen of Saizen, a form of growth hormone, and HCG, according to the suit.

Database of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

Colao was negligent. He deviated from a generally accepted standard. Today, Era still has trouble speaking and can barely move his right arm, said his father, also named Leonard. The family settled with Colao's insurance company for an undisclosed sum. Four months after Era's stroke, another incident would draw the first law enforcement scrutiny of Colao's prescribing habits. Andrew Wietecha, a muscled year-old police officer in North Bergen, was charged with marijuana possession and drunken driving in July after crashing his car in Seaside Park, an Ocean County beach community.

When ordered to take a drug test days later, Wietecha listed the medications he was on, as required by state regulations. One of those drugs was testosterone. Colao assured investigators the prescriptions were valid and necessary. At the time, Stoma said, there was no reason to doubt him. Wietecha, suspended after his arrest, never returned to the force. In the early morning hours of Aug.

Much more than documents.

For two decades, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and a handful of academic experts have urgently warned about the growing use of steroids in law enforcement, calling it a problem that puts both users and the public at risk. Those warnings have largely been ignored. There is no way to determine how many law enforcement officers or firefighters use steroids, a class of substances Harvard Medical School researcher Harrison G.

Disclaimer

Pope Jr. No agency keeps track of steroid-related suspensions or arrests, and surveys, where they exist, are considered unreliable. In the absence of hard data, researchers rely on anecdotal evidence. From New Jersey to California, in departments large and small, scores of law enforcement officers have been arrested, suspended or reassigned to desk duty in just the past few years for buying steroids or growth hormone without a prescription. In some of those cases, officers were selling the substances to colleagues. Left unanswered is the question of how many officers and firefighters obtain the drugs with the aid of doctors who fabricate diagnoses, as Colao is alleged to have done.

Experts say those transactions, conducted with the veneer of authenticity in private clinics and offices, are almost certainly on the rise, the result of a booming anti-aging movement that hypes hormones as the antidote to aches, wrinkles and sagging bodies. In New Jersey, law enforcement officials and union leaders said they were not aware of any agencies that randomly test employees for steroids, as they do for cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs.

Some chiefs cite the extra expense. Over the past decade, departments in New Jersey have taken disciplinary action against officers for steroid use in just a handful of cases. Most cases involved a legal challenge brought by the accused officers or by police unions. The details are found in legal documents stemming from a suit filed against the chief by seven of his officers. The captain told Comey he suspected Jersey City officers were customers, too. Comey turned over the list. He soon learned at least 40 of the department's officers had filled prescriptions for steroids through Lowen's and that at least 36 had obtained HGH from the pharmacy.

Within days, Comey ordered an unknown number of officers to provide a urine sample to be tested for elevated levels of testosterone, a hallmark of steroid use. Comey would not discuss the test results or provide details of the probe. Legal papers show at least 20 officers were relieved of their weapons and placed on modified duty. Of those, most returned to full duty two months later, after undergoing follow-up tests.

One officer, Nicholas Kramer, continued to show a high testosterone level during a retest. He was later declared unfit for duty and served a day suspension without pay. Kramer, now 33, returned to the force in January of last year. He declined comment. Kramer and six other officers later filed suit against the department and Comey, claiming the chief had violated their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs included Victor Vargas and Michael Stise, accused of brutality in the federal lawsuit brought by Jersey City resident Mathias Bolton, and Brian McGovern, the officer who had filled 20 prescriptions and who was charged with assault in Point Pleasant Beach last year.

District Justice Peter G. In response to questions from The Star-Ledger , Comey issued a statement calling the internal probe "a difficult situation to deal with" and saying the department was working to develop a policy "to ensure the integrity of the agency moving forward.

He refused to say if that policy involves testing for steroids. Gladys Nieves believes Joseph Colao saw the end coming. Part of her wonders if he embraced it. The physician's chronic heart condition appeared to be worsening. He had failed a stress test in the spring of , but rather than slow down, he continued to work and hour days, often missing lunch. He also sometimes skipped his prescribed doses of Plavix, which helps prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attacks, Nieves said.

Colao told her he wanted her to be taken care of when he was gone. The walls were closing in professionally as well. Medicare had conducted a fraud investigation in Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said an incident involving a second officer in late again led to Colao. DeFazio would not describe the incident or name the officer, but he said it aroused suspicion. Because the matter involved questions of medical judgment beyond the expertise of criminal investigators, DeFazio said, he referred the case to the state Board of Medical Examiners, which licenses and disciplines doctors.

The board opened an investigation into Colao in March , though it did not contact him in the five months before his death, spokesman Jeff Lamm said. Before confronting Colao, board investigators were trying to determine if the doctor's voluminous prescriptions for steroids and HGH extended to New Jersey pharmacies, Lamm said.

As the summer of wore on, the increasing pressure weighed on Colao, Nieves said. With all of the hormones, I think he was getting disgusted by it. I think he wanted to go back to the normalcy of it all, his pain patients. A medical examiner determined the cause of death to be hardening of the arteries. The weeks that followed would be frustrating ones for Ken Kolich, the county homicide investigator. Suddenly, the flood of calls from officers on the day Colao died made sense to Kolich.

It also alarmed him. Kolich wanted to look deeper into the steroid angle, but his supervisor at the time, Capt. Vincent Doherty, ordered him to stop, the detective said. Doherty, who has since retired, denied telling Kolich police officers must be protected. Whether I put a kibosh to it, maybe I did. Every criminal investigation into Colao was now at an end. And the search for a new doctor was on. High Crest Health, lodged in an imposing Georgian-style building in Fairfield, offers the public what it bills as an integrative medical experience.

Clients can choose from chiropractic care, personal training, nutritional counseling, colon hydrotherapy and hormone replacement therapy, among other services. And almost all of them seemed to want testosterone, stanozolol or growth hormone. Separately, the stories show how easily the substances can be obtained when a doctor chooses to abandon medical protocol, illegally churning out prescriptions based on phony diagnoses. Reporters Amy Brittain and Mark Mueller spent seven months investigating the issue and the medical practice of the late Joseph Colao, who prescribed steroids or growth hormone to at least New Jersey officers and firefighters.

The Star-Ledger found Colao frequently falsified diagnoses to justify his prescriptions and illegally sold boxes of growth hormone out of his Jersey City office. Medical conditions allowing the drugs to be prescribed legally are uncommon, but it is possible some officers who went to Colao had a legitimate need for them. The Star-Ledger also reviewed court cases, regulations governing the substances and Colao's prescription records from Lowen's Compounding Pharmacy, a Brooklyn shop through which he directed a significant portion of his hormone business.

Lowen's has since changed hands. The current owners did not return phone calls. The reporters cross-checked birth dates from both sets of data. Because Colao prescribed the substances through pharmacies in New Jersey as well, the number of steroid users in uniform is believed to be substantially higher.

The Star-Ledger attempted to reach every officer and firefighter by phone, e-mail or letter. Fifty-four responded to the inquiries. Of those, about half declined comment outright. Others denied receiving anything from Colao despite records showing shipments from Lowen's to their homes. A few said they didn't realize the substances they took were steroids or growth hormone until told by a reporter.

The Star-Ledger named officers and firefighters for a variety of reasons. Some spoke willingly about the drugs and their experiences with Colao. Others filled prescriptions for a combination of testosterone-boosting drugs, putting them at higher risk of steroid side effects such as aggression, confusion and recklessness. The newspaper also has chosen to identify officers and firefighters who have been arrested, fired or disciplined for bad conduct, along with those named in lawsuits alleging excessive force or civil rights violations.

Finally, the issue can be seen as a matter of public safety. Courts have repeatedly ruled law enforcement officers have a lower expectation of personal privacy than members of the general public given the nature of their jobs and the fact they are armed. In one recent case, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit brought against the Jersey City police chief by seven officers who contended they had been illegally tested for steroids and placed on restricted duty. Sheridan wrote in his June opinion. Research has shown steroids affect people in unpredictable ways.

Some users can tolerate high doses with few ill effects. Others on low doses can grow irritable, aggressive and prone to so-called "roid rage," raising questions about judgment and fitness for duty. Several police chiefs and medical experts told The Star-Ledger armed officers and steroids make for a dangerous combination. In addition, some law enforcement officials said that if officers willingly take part in an illegal scheme of any kind, it could undermine the public trust in the officers involved.

Amy Brittain, a Shreveport, La. A graduate of Louisiana State University, she was named one of the nation's top 10 student journalists by the Scripps Howard Foundation. Brittain holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism from Contact Amy Brittain: or abrittain starledger.

Mark Mueller has worked on many investigative and explanatory projects since joining The Star-Ledger in