Fifteen Broward Sheriff's Office deputies and one civilian employee have been taken off the road on suspicion that they are using steroids.
The sixteen BSO employees were rounded up Friday and ordered to take a drug test, sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal told me this afternoon. They were placed on administrative assignment until the results of those tests come in and an internal affairs investigation is completed.
"I can't tell you much because it's an internal affairs investigation," Leljedal said. "We have sixteen people that may have been using steroids. I don't know if they had a prescription or not."
This isn't the first steroids scandal to hit the agency. When deputy Todd Fatta was shot down during a raid in 2004, toxicology tests showed he had anabolic steroids in his system. In 2005, eight deputies were caught using steroids, all of them obtaining the drugs from a Deerfield Beach company called PowerMedica. They were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing because they had prescriptions.
That outcome, of course, hardly sent a stern message to any other deputies who were on steroids or considering using them. More like a green light. The agency obviously has a steroids problem and hopefully Sheriff Al Lamberti won't allow a whitewash this time.