Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, the key witness in Major League Baseball's investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiring to distribute steroids to MLB players and high school athletes, court documents in Miami revealed Tuesday.
Bosch surrendered to authorities Tuesday.
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"He is not a doctor," said Mark R. Trouville, chief of the Miami Drug Enforcement Administration, "He is a drug dealer."
Bosch faces up to 10 years in prison, but his plea bargain calls for federal prosecutors to recommend a lighter sentence. The presiding judge in the case ultimately will decide Bosch's sentence. According to ESPN, Bosch was released on $100,000 bond.
"We are confident that the justice system works," Bosch spokeswoman Joyce Fitzpatrick said in confirming her client was in the custody of authorities from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Yuri Sucart, a cousin of suspended Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, was among nine others arrested in connection with the conspiracy, authorities said. Rodriguez received a 211-game suspension from MLB. An arbitrator later reduced it to 162, plus the postseason if the Yankees qualify.
U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said Sucart "recruited" athletes to buy illegal substances. In 2009, MLB banned Sucart from the Yankees' clubhouse, charter flights, bus and other team-related activities after Rodriguez admitted using steroids while with the Rangers from 2000-03, saying Sucart obtained and injected the drugs for him.
"I take great solace in the fact that the perpetual smirk that seemed to be on Tony Bosch's face has been wiped off today," said Joe Tacopina, Rodriguez's lead attorney.
"It's also a good day. It marks the end of this saga. This is the last piece of it that was hanging over everyone's head. It's over and it allows baseball, Alex and everyone else to move forward on a positive note. It's finally behind everyone. He's more than halfway there and he's got three years left [on his contract] and he's in great shape and he wants to come back and have three more great years."
Multiple law-enforcement officials told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that the names of "several professional baseball players not previously identified came up in the investigation," and could be revealed in discovery. However, the ESPN report said MLB players and other pro athletes are not the focus of the federal investigation.
MLB had no comment. The Major League Baseball Players Association declined comment.
Bosch admitted on the CBS television show "60 Minutes" last January that he sold testosterone, among other performance-enhancing drugs, to MLB players. A Miami New Times report from January 2013, which sparked MLB's investigation, said Rodriguez bought human growth hormone and other substances from 2009 to 2012 from Bosch's clinic, Biogenesis of America. The newspaper said it had obtained records detailing the purchases by Rodriguez and other ballplayers.
Among the others charged Tuesday were Carlos Javier Acevedo, 35, of Miami, Bosch's former partner; Jorge Augustine Velazquez, 43, of Miami; Christopher Benjamin Engroba, 25, of Miami; Lazaro Daniel Collazo, 50, of Hialeah; and Juan Carlos Nuñez, 48, of Fort Lauderdale.
Collazo is a former pitching coach for the universities of Miami, Louisville and South Florida who also has worked as a private instructor with numerous high school, college and professional pitchers.
With Jim Baumbach and AP