Secret Service Agent Sues Oklahoma Narcotics Agent for Muscle Profiling
Secret Service Agent Sues Oklahoma Narcotics Agent for Muscle Profiling By Millard Baker
United States Secret Service Agent Lester Blount has filed a lawsuit against Brian Surber of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) in Oklahoma County District Court. The lawsuit alleges civil rights violations and malicious prosecution by Brian Surber. It claims that the search warrant affidavit included “false, misleading and/or fabricated allegations.”
The lawsuit also claims that Blount was the victim of “muscle profiling“. Surber allegedly used Blount’s bodybuilder-type physiques as putative evidence of anabolic steroid use. OBNDD Agent Brian Surber spearheaded the raid of Blount’s Maryland residence on July 17, 2008 based on “unverified allegations of steroids possession and distribution and the fact that Mr. Blount had a ‘muscular physique’”.
A Maryland State Police SWAT team of at least fifteen agents led by Matthew Newman entered Agent Blount’s house and held his family at gunpoint. The children, including an infant child, were reportedly traumatized by the raid.
OBNDD Agent Surber also took the time to share the unverified allegations of steroid possession and distribution with Blount’s employer. Surber’s actions resulted in Blount being placed on unpaid administrative leave from the Secret Service for a period of 22 months. The Tulsa World website reported details of the lawsuit.
Before serving the search warrant, Surber went to the Secret Service “and told Mr. Blount’s supervisors that he was a ‘drug user and dealer.’ As a result of this baseless and inflammatory accusation, Mr. Blount was placed on administrative leave, without pay, for a total of 22 months,” the suit states.
OBNDD Agent Brian Surber was unable to find a way to link anabolic steroids to Blount. The search of his residence did not uncover any anabolic steroids or illegal drugs of any kind. An analysis of a seized computer and bank records revealed no evidence of illegal steroid distribution. A steroid urinalysis revealed no evidence of steroid use by Blount.
“The charges, for which the unsupported search warrant was issued, were eventually dropped by Defendant because Mr. Blount is not, in fact, a drug user or dealer,” it states.
OBNDD Agent Surber’s raid of Blount’s Maryland residence was part of a larger Oklahoma-based investigation that targeted several IFBB and NPC bodybuilders and others in the Oklahoma competitive bodybuilding network.
Brian Surber’s use of ‘muscle profiling’ as probable cause in search warrants in steroid cases sets a dangerous precedent. Surber may have a reasonable amount of success “guessing” who is using steroids based on their physical appearance. However, just because bodybuilders may be more likely than the general population to use anabolic steroids does not mean that all, or even most, individuals with muscular physiques use using steroids. Certainly, it does not justify violating the rights of law-abiding individuals who happen to be muscular by terrorizing their families and holding them hostage at gunpoint.