A months-long investigation into illegal steroids distribution at township gyms and schools produced its first arrest Tuesday when a 24-year-old township man was nabbed on his way to a Hamburg Turnpike fitness center.

Michael Massaro, of Harmer Terrace, was getting out of his car in front of the Gold’s Gym at the Wedgewood Plaza shopping center when he was stopped by a police officer with search warrants from a three-month-long investigation, Detective Captain James Clarke said.

He was charged with four counts of possession of anabolic steroids and one count of possession of a needle and syringe after police found an unspecified amount of the drug in his car and his house, Clarke said. The charges carry fines of up to $35,000 and / or a sentence of three to five years of incarceration.

“Both the Wayne police department special operations unit and the D.E.A. are continuing the investigation into the distribution of anabolic steroids in the township,” Clarke said. “We are hoping to stem the tide with this.”

Police think a “small community” of people is selling steroids in the township. While they are not connected, they likely know each other through area weight-lifting centers, Clarke said.

“Our biggest concern is the fact they may be reaching kids in the high school system in Wayne,” Clarke said.

Massaro was released on his on recognizance and is due at Wayne Municipal Court for an arraignment on Oct. 28.

The lead investigating officer was Wayne Detective Michael Zaccone. The Newark field division office of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency also assisted with the investigation.

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