By Richard Weizel
MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - Three more Connecticut men have been arrested on charges related to a global steroids trafficking ring run by a Newtown police sergeant even as he acted as a department spokesman in the aftermath of the town's 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, U.S. authorities said on Friday.
Connecticut prison officer Guido Volpe, 36, and two other men were arrested on Thursday in the case which had already led to eight arrests in April, said Deirdre Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Sergeant Steven Santucci, the Newtown Police Department spokesman, was arrested in April and resigned in May.
A federal grand jury in New Haven returned a superseding indictment charging the entire group of 11 men "with steroid and prescription pill distribution offenses," Daly said.
Prosecutors have accused Santucci of running the steroid trafficking operation from his desk in Newtown's police headquarters over several years, including during the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in which 26 students and teachers were shot dead by a former student.
Prosecutors say Santucci, a main police department spokesman, and several other men including a Newtown dispatcher and a juvenile detention center shift supervisor, imported steroid ingredients from China and sought to manufacture and distribute wholesale quantities.
During the federal probe into the distribution ring, investigators seized hundreds of vials of steroids, about 600 grams of raw testosterone powder, about 350 grams of powder cocaine, and four guns.
The new indictment charges all of the defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
Santucci is also charged with conspiracy to launder money, which carries a prison term of up to 20 years and $500,000 fine. This charge stems from Santucci's alleged use of proceeds of the sale of steroids to wire payments to foreign sellers of ingredients, and to buy drug packaging materials.
Most of the defendants are released on bond.
(Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Richard Chang)