Another week, another Yankees steroid story. But this one has a twist: this time, the connection is to the front office.
(This is the executive Felix Lopez, not the steroid dealing one.)
The son of a senior vice president pleaded guilty in 2003 to trafficking steroids, newly uncovered public records show. Felix M. Lopez III faced life in prison, but pleaded down to possession with intent to distribute, and received a cushy three years probation.
Felix M. Lopez, Jr., was not with the Yankees at the time, and doesn’t think the case should reflect on him or his employer.
In an interview with Newsday on Friday, the Yankees senior vice president said he stands by his son. But he said his son will never work for the Yankees because of his past and the negative perception it would create. “Sometimes kids make mistakes,” Lopez Jr. said.
According to the arrest record filed with the Tampa police department, police obtained several bottles and more than 50 vials of anabolic steroids, as well as two boxes with six bottles of the drug GBL when they raided Lopez’s Tampa apartment on Sept. 18, 2002. GBL is commonly referred to as an illegal date-rape drug but also has been used by athletes as a steroid alternative.
Lopez III was among 115 people arrested in 80 cities in raids in 2002, according to DEA spokesman Rusty Payne. Lopez III’s arrest came in connection with “Operation Webslinger,” a federal investigation into the sale of date-rape drugs on the Internet.
It’s worth reading the Newsday article, if just for an account of the kickass mailman-in-disguise sting they pulled on the younger Lopez. And it’s important to keep in mind the actual connection to the team here is tenuous, though let’s not underestimate the strength of family in the Yankees organization; Lopez Jr. became VP a year after marrying George Steinbrenner’s daughter.