PHOENIX - Authorities confirmed that more than a dozen Phoenix firefighters and one Mesa police officer are connected to a steroid investigation being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Mesa police confirmed Monday that one of their officers is under investigation, and Chandler police said they have been contacted by the DEA about the probe, though the names of specific employees have not come up.
Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan said he wants to respect his employees rights but wants those who may have broken the law to account for their actions.
"I want to turn a porch light on to this thing, because if you're circumventing the system, doing an end run, to use anabolic steroids, that's illegal, a felony," Khan said. "We want to work within the system, but we want to get to the bottom of this."
The Arizona Republic reported Saturday that that more than a dozen Phoenix police officers were linked to the federal steroid investigation.
A DEA spokeswoman confirmed an investigation regarding steroids is under way. She said the primary targets are not police or firefighters, but the doctors who improperly hand out prescriptions.
"Historically, DEA focuses on people who supply illegal drugs and not so much the users," Ramona Sanchez said. "We have served search warrants in this investigation regarding improperly dispensing anabolic steroids. We're working with Phoenix police and other agencies and then they can take whatever action with their people that is appropriate."
Phoenix police Cmdr. Kim Humphrey Monday said his department about a year ago added steroids to its list of drugs tested for in its random drug test program. He also said that to his knowledge, Phoenix is the only police department in the nation that tests officers for steroid use.
Humphrey said each year 500 to 700 Phoenix officers undergo random drug tests.
Since the tests began, Humphrey said that several officers have tested positive for steroids, but would not say how many. About 12 officers are on the list the DEA gave Phoenix, a police official said.
Officer Chris Arvayo, a Mesa police spokesman, said one of their officers is the subject of an internal investigation after he was listed as a patient of one of the doctors involved in the DEA steroid probe.
He said the investigation is at an early stage. Investigators are checking the officer's relationship with the doctor and whether he was prescribed steroids, Arvayo said.
No action has been taken against the officer, who remains on duty, he said.