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Behind BALCO: The Hidden Officer Involved Shooting
by junya
Sunday Apr 16th, 2006 10:28 AM
If the BALCO case is strictly about drug use in sports, then why is Barry Bonds represented by Michael Rains - a lawyer whose entire legal career has been spent protecting police from prosecution? While we're being distracted by the Bonds saga, are we missing a connection between steroids and police?

I tried to ignore the BALCO story. But you have to admire the aerobic stamina of the pundits. To spew pompous indignation over the possibility that a ball player might have lied and ditched his Wheaties for the real 'Breakfast of Champions', while failing to take note of an administration that has elevated the sport of lying and cheating to Olympian heights, must require endless hours with one's head up one's ass. Sensationalize the trivial, while ignoring the crucial: straight out of Psyops 101.

But it's clear that this is about more than testosterone. One month after Bush mentioned steroid abuse in his 2004 State of the Union address, his top cop, John Ashcroft, paused from his busy schedule of abduction and torture to announce the BALCO indictments at a nationally televised news conference in Washington DC. But if the BALCO case is strictly about drug use in sports, then why is Barry Bonds represented by a lawyer whose entire legal career has been spent protecting police from prosecution? Why didn't KGO ask that question when, in Dec. 2004, it reported that Barry Bonds' lawyer, Michael Rains, spoke "at a crowded news conference in Oakland, where he's participating as a defense lawyer in 'The Riders' trial"? [2] Isn't it surprising that someone who can afford top-of-the-line legal defense is represented by the Mr. Fix-it for law enforcement low-lifes? Lawyers defending police are not accustomed to vigorously building a case, because courts seldom convict law enforcement. Doesn't Bonds realize the court is not going to cut the same slack for an 'uppity' black superstar in a drug case? And what led Rains to move from brutality to baseball? While we're being distracted by the Bonds saga, are we missing a connection between steroids and police?

Who is Michael Rains?

Dubbing itself 'The Ultimate Backup', the firm of Rains, Lucia, and Wilkerson represents 80 California law enforcement agencies, including all those in the East Bay, according to a Dec. 2001 profile in East Bay Business Times [3]. They handle contract negotiations, internal investigations, and criminal charges against police. In the same article, Rains names his most respected competitors: "Bill Rapaport. He's in San Mateo. And the other guy is Craig Brown and he's in San Jose" . Naming them as 'competitors' is grossly misleading. As Rains implies, each has his own turf: while Rains and company take the big business in the East Bay, Rapaport rules San Mateo County, and Brown lords over Santa Clara County. Yet they also collaborate: Rapaport and Brown are currently defending East Palo Alto police charged with assault for beating Calvin Brooks so severely he needed a five-day hospital stay. Brown, who freed the State agent that killed Rudy Cardenas in San Jose (while the father of 5 pleaded for his life with his hands in the air), also defended one of the Palo Alto pair that brutalized 60-year-old African Albert Hopkins for the crime of sitting in his parked car. The other PAPD "thug" (as the Assistant DA called him) was represented by Harry Stern - a junior attorney from Rains' firm. And the Riders trial brought all three together to represent Oakland's Swinest.

Bill Rapaport: Man in the Middle

Rains claims he knew Bonds through a mutual acquaintance and was retained specifically for this case. Perhaps the mutual acquaintance is Bill Rapaport: he initially represented Bonds' personal trainer and long-time friend, Greg Anderson (Anderson later switched to the legendary attorney and legal activist Tony Serra, who took the case for free). Two days after IRS, FDA and the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force agents handcuffed and questioned Anderson on Burlingame streets in Sep. 2003, Federal agents kicked down the door of his Burlingame home and claimed they found steroids and syringes. They also claim Anderson admitted that he had given steroids to several professional baseball players. So how did Rapaport migrate from defending brutal beasts with badges to representing someone charged with providing elite athletes (i.e., fully aware adults) with precisely what they ask for? In fact, Rapaport has long been a counselor for the steroid biz. In May 2004 the San Mateo Daily Journal reported that Rapaport has represented both Victor Conte Jr., the founder of the Bay Area Lab Co-Operative (BALCO) that supplied Anderson with performance enhancing drugs, and James Valente, BALCO's vice president - and ended up suing them in 2001.

Burlingame Officer Involved Shooting

Had Anderson fit better into Rapaport's typical client profile, he probably would have escaped jail. In fact, about a month after Anderson was getting slammed on the streets of Burlingame, the same Narcotics Task Force discovered more than 700 tablets of steroids and syringes in the truck and house of Burlingame Police Officer Robert J. Cissna. They were acting on a tip from customs officials in New York, who seized more than 2,000 tablets of steroids on its way from Romania to a Burlingame post office box addressed to Cissna. In Sep. 2004 Cissna pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and received a deal of 18 months probation, with the charges dismissed and his records cleared. A Deputy DA confessed to the San Mateo Daily Journal [4]: "We initially charged Cissna with intent to sell based on the quantity. Then we received information from the defense about his usage pattern...and we found [the quantity] was consistent with personal use." And who provided 'the defense' that enlightened prosecutors? The 'Ultimate Backup' to the rescue: Michael Rains [5].

So while a mob of federal agents swooped down to bust an athlete's trainer in a case that received national attention (and got him jailed for 3 months), just across town a local cop got off with no jail or record after federal agents considered 2000 steroid tabs wasn't worth more than a phone call to local police, and the DA is relieved that the cop's not selling those thousands of tabs of steroids - just shooting them up! And Michael Rains is the legal face of both the athlete and the cop. Quite a coincidence for Burlingame, a small town with relatively low crime rate. Outcome for the cop: he was fired from his job when he was charged, but he has since been reinstated. [6]

Tip of the Iceberg

As one police psychologist accurately reported on CNN in April 2005 [7], steroid use among star baseball players may be getting the most attention, but a bigger problem is likely the police officer down the street who is using them: "At some point in using the drug, psychotic-type symptoms come in. And they're not predictable. That makes it an even more dangerous issue" . The DEA warns that possible psychological disturbances resulting from steroid abuse include "mood swings (including manic-like symptoms leading to violence), impaired judgment (stemming from feelings of invincibility)...and hostility and aggression". Clearly, these traits in police are what keep Rains and crew busy and prosperous, so we can infer that it is in their interest to protect steroid-abusing police (and hide those police behind the media feeding frenzy that comes when they toss Bonds out to publicity-hungry feds), but do the rest of us want police that are even more violent, irrational, and hostile when fueled by 'roid rage'? While Bush publicly frets over steroids in sports, the White House website links to a DEA report [8] that warns: "Despite the illegality of steroids without a prescription and the known dangers of steroid abuse the problem continues to grow in the law enforcement community" . From Honolulu Officer Belluomini who pleaded guilty to five illegal sales of human growth hormone in 2002 and 2003, to Tampa Officer Campbell who traded Ecstasy tablets - stolen from an impounded car - for steroids while in uniform and on duty, to New York Officers Foley and Grettler who pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine and steroids, it is clear that the Officers aren't just banging roids, but slinging it too - under the most protective cover possible.

The real story behind BALCO may look more like the case of PowerMedica, a Florida company found selling steroids, as well as syringes and needles, without prescriptions to dozens of police. One policeman's wife was a PowerMedica saleswoman, who hand-delivered the drugs. The officers told investigators they believed PowerMedica was legitimate, and expressed no qualms about shooting themselves up with drugs. While one Florida paper editorialized that "Power-Medica is to South Florida cops what BALCO...was to major league baseball players" [9], it may be that PowerMedica is to South Florida cops what BALCO was to Bay Area cops. With one difference: Bay Area cops are being rescued by the 'Ultimate Backup' of Michael Rains - and the attention on Barry Bonds.


  1. Dopers in Uniform - Cops On Steroids by John Hoberman (Prof at Univ. of TX)

  2. Bonds' Lawyer Says He Never Knowingly Took Steroids

  3. Police in crisis turn to East Bay law firm

  4. Former cop gets probation for drug charges , San Mateo Daily Journal, September 25, 2004

  5. Officer Charged In Steroids Purchase
    Note that the article closes with: "Rains, whose office specializes in defending Bay Area police officers". Funny how that never appears when the media reports the BALCO story.

  6. Big Guns: When Cops Use Steroids


  8. Steroid Abuse in Today's Society"

  9. Bulking up on the beat

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Thank You
Sunday Apr 16th, 2006 12:05 PM
I have had a lot of questions about Balco, The Giants, Bonds, and the Police.
by herbalist
Thursday Apr 20th, 2006 12:09 AM
This is great article. Thanks for investigating it. I really think what you're proposing makes sense.

Something to consider is that "natural" products that you can buy over the counter can function similarly to straight steroids, though not as potent. Both induce excess androgens in the body. Both cause an imbalance in the body and can lead to shrunken testicles, decreased organic (self-produced) testosterone production, baldness, low sperm counts and infertility. Other health problems include increased risks for heart disease and cancers.

If you are thinking about taking "natural" supplements as an easy and supposedly safe way to bulk up, you should think twice. Spiking up one set of hormones in your body can actually cause your glands that normally produce such hormones to die off (that'd be your testicles!). Also, when you flood your body with a particular hormone, you desensitize the hormone receptors in your body to the substance, creating an addiction-like effect, where your body needs more and more of the substance to get the same effect.

For those who have abused steroids or steroid-like natural substances and want to quit, expect to go through some withdrawl symptoms. It would probably be best to go off them gradually and make sure you have a support network around you because you'll get the blues. If this is difficult for you, remember that feeling sadness is part of the the normal range of emotions that makes people human and it is only temporary. Support yourself with a good vitamin supplement, Omega-3s, exercise and some sunlight.

If you are a middle-aged man experiencing "manopause" and are thinking of using steroids to keep off flab, consider the risks. You'd be a lot better off (and so would your family!) if you took an energizing tonic such as maca or eleuthero. These herbs pose virtually no risk to men of middle age and older when taken in standard doses.
by junya
Thursday Apr 20th, 2006 2:37 AM
Thanks for the interesting tips.

Not only can natural substance also be abused, the pusher may be a US Senator, as reported in an April 17 2005 NY Times story "BEYOND BALCO: How One Pill Escaped the List of Controlled Steroids". Here are some snippets:

"On the shelves of health stores across the country sits a dietary supplement that advertisements boast can "significantly alter body composition" - by converting to steroids in the bloodstream and, for some, helping pump up muscles like traditional steroids do.

But unlike every other substance in the steroid family, the supplement, DHEA, is not classified as a controlled substance. In fact, the chalky white pills and capsules enjoy a special exemption under federal law, thanks to a bill quietly passed by Congress late last year..."

"...Sports officials had favored an overall ban on steroids and related pills, like DHEA, which is banned by the Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the National Collegiate Athletics Association, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and baseball minor leagues..."

"Nevertheless, Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, a Republican who represents a state where many dietary supplements are produced and a longtime champion of herbal remedies, felt strongly last year that DHEA must be kept legal and available as an "anti-aging" pill. Other lawmakers and staff members said he threatened to kill a far-reaching piece of legislation restricting the sale of other steroids, educating children about the dangers of steroids and increasing penalties for illegal use if his colleagues did not agree to include an exemption for it.

His son, Scott Hatch, is a lobbyist for the National Nutritional Foods Association, a trade association for the dietary supplement industry, and has represented supplement companies themselves, including Twin Laboratories, which sells DHEA..."

"...Most DHEA is manufactured in China from the dried roots of wild yam. About $47 million worth was sold in the United States in 2003, the most recent year for which sales figures have been compiled..."

"...Utah, the home state of Senator Hatch and his son, is a nexus for vitamin and supplement production and distribution and the father-and-son Hatch team have a history of fighting for herbal remedies. The elder Hatch has played a leading role on two Senate committees that have oversight over the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Senator Hatch has also in the past defended the herbal supplement ephedra, which has been linked with more than 100 deaths. He supported a federal ban of ephedra in April 2004 after the deaths were reported. A federal judge in Salt Lake City overturned the ban last week..."

"...Representative Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, said DHEA was protected "because of the economic pressures from the dietary supplement people that stand to make a lot more money by selling it."

Besides the supplement industry and its select advocates in Congress, Mr. Waxman said: "No one else argued it should be given an exemption. The only opposition came from the supplements industry, and they're making millions off the sale of DHEA supplements."

Full story at:
(Registration required)


That's how the "Drug War" is fought: courts are locking black and brown youth in cages for years for the crime of operating on a scale too small with a skin too dark, while corporate drug pushers simply have lawmakers rewrite the laws so not to disturb the flow of their millions.

Can you smell the stench?
by geoff
Thursday Apr 20th, 2006 7:59 PM
Christ jesus, thanks for writing this
Sunday Apr 23rd, 2006 12:45 PM

SMEAR using 5150 ("forced Psychiatric Detention.")
police psychos on 'roids is frightening indeed.
especially hiring tattooed, shaved-head "thugs" as cops.

Forced Psychiatric drugging of an innocent citizen via
abuse of 5150, Forced psychiatric drugging and dirty cop terrorist
incited beating led to a self-stabbing incident.

-------------- TACTICS of Santa clarita sheriff (aka dirty cop terrorist
drunk on "police powers." )

IT HAppened to me in May, 2003.

Lying, falsifying, fabricating (skills required of dirty cop terrorists
with "police powers."