Area Man Keeps Houston's Name In Steroids Spotlight

Juan Carlos Ballivian, a personal trainer in Houston, was sentenced last week to three years probation for dealing steroids, ending a federal investigation of a network of dealers in Texas.

The investigation originally targeted professional athletes, and David Jacobs -- one of the first dealers arrested -- was linked to the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas-area police officers, according to Kent Schaffer, Ballivian's attorney. No athletes or officers were prosecuted because Jacobs and his girlfriend were shot to death at their house, and investigators ruled that Jacobs had killed his girlfriend then shot himself.

"Their ability to make a case died when Jacobs died. He was the guy that could have personally implicated a number of athletes, but now that he's dead, no one else can do that," Schaffer tells Hair Balls. "When they started this investigation into Jacobs, a lot of these guys materialized on the radar that otherwise would've never been there."

Federal agents were tipped to Ballivian through Jacobs -- they knew each other from the bodybuilding circuit -- and Ballivian was arrested after selling steroids to a federal informant.

Schaffer says the feds found about 40,000 doses of steroids during a search of Ballivian's house.

Ballivian faced jail time, but the judge had agreed to give Jacobs probation -- after he snitched -- and the judge didn't think it was fair to give the other defendants harsher sentences, according to Schaffer. Ballivian was the last of six defendants sentenced in the case.

"There was no ring that my guy was a part of with Jacobs," Schaffer says. "Jacobs attracted all the heat, and all these other guys got caught up in it."

-- Paul Knight

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