Two sisters from Florida pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges related to a multistate investigation into the illegal sale of steroids, raising to 20 the defendants from three states arraigned in Albany County Court in the past two weeks.
Elaine Sorrells, 37, of Boynton Beach, and Courtney Sorrells-Loceff, 30, of Port St. Lucie, were charged in eight-count indictments with felonies of conspiracy, attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal diversion of prescription medication.
Prosecutors said the two are officials at the Oasis Longevity and Rejuvenation clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., while Sorrells-Loceff’s lawyer said his client did not work there, though her sister was its president.
Prosecutors in Albany have linked Oasis to Signature Pharmacy of Orlando, Fla., which is at the center of an investigation into illegal sales of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
The sisters were released on $10,000 bail each. Sorrells’ lawyer, Michael Rhodes-Devey, declined comment, saying he had just seen the charges.
“My client had nothing to do with Oasis,” said Thomas Carr, Sorrells-Loceff’s lawyer, predicting her charges will be dismissed.
“The DA’s office cast a very, very wide net. There are people who were not involved and who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Thursday’s arraignments nearly complete the list of people on a flow chart provided by Albany County District Attorney David Soares that shows Signature at its center, and in its orbit, principals or employees of Oasis; MedXlife.com of Orlando; Beach Rejuvenation of Jupiter, Fla.; Infinity Rejuvenation of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; CNA of Sugarland, Texas; Anti-Aging Centers of Nanuet, N.Y.; and Omni Healthcare of Forest Hills, N.Y.
“My goal here is to eliminate a major source, a major supply coming into my county and other parts of the state,” Soares said after 11 arraignments last week in Albany, only days after raids at Signature in Orlando.
Soares has also said his focus is not on customers but on distributors of illicit steroids and human growth hormone and doctors writing prescriptions to ship the drugs to patients they’ve never seen.
The 20 defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Judge Stephen Herrick cautioned the sisters that failure to return to court in May would mean bail forfeit and the proceedings continuing without them.
Carr said he intends to seek from prosecutors the names of alleged buyers of illegal steroids, including famous athletes, to show Sorrells-Loceff had nothing to do with them. He predicted the real import of the case will be in lies, cover-ups and obstruction of justice, and not the drug case itself.