Thread: News Flash
02-01-2002, 10:02 AM #1
PHOENIX (AP) - A plot to steal the "fountain of youth"
apparently cost Konstantin Simberg his life at age 21.
Simberg was killed after he began serving as an
informant on what police say was a scheme to steal a
million-dollar shipment of Saizen, a human growth
hormone that can help slow the effects of aging and is
sold on the black market for use by athletes.
Simberg's last telephone conversation with a detective
was cut off with a scream just before his body - bound
and showing signs of torture - turned up in the woods of
northwestern Arizona last month.
Since then, authorities have charged three young men in
the slaying. Two others have been charged with money
laundering and other offenses and are under
investigation in the killing.
"The twists and turns of this case have been just unbelievable," said Detective
Tom Britt, Simberg's contact at the Phoenix Police Department.
Saizen, sometimes called the fountain of youth, replaces natural hormones such as
testosterone that decline as people age beyond 40. Growth hormone is given by
prescription to children whose growth is stunted by hormone deficiency, kidney
disease or other conditions. It is also used in adults to treat such conditions as
weight loss caused by AIDS.
The alleged plot unraveled just months before the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake
City. Britt said police have no firm evidence of any plan to sell the hormone to
"But we always thought it was interesting that this was done right before the
winter Olympics in Salt Lake City," he said. "The timing was intriguing."
Police say Troy Langdon, 28, the manager of Cactus Pharmacy, and friend Sean
Southland, 33, hatched the plot to steal and sell 6,000 vials of Saizen, worth
about $1 million wholesale and an estimated $3 million on the black market.
The two men allegedly hired Simberg and four
others to steal the drug from a FedEx driver as he
made his delivery to the Phoenix pharmacy on
But instead of using a gun, Simberg offered the
driver $50,000, Britt said. The driver refused and
the group fled, but police soon began
Meanwhile, Langdon and Southland changed plans
and quietly sold the Saizen to a medical company for about $926,000, Britt said.
The men also raised the pharmacy's insurance to $1 million, then had Simberg and
three others break into the pharmacy to make it look as if there had been a
robbery, Britt said. Langdon reported the hormones stolen and filed a claim for the
insurance money the next day.
But using alarm records, police determined that no robbery had taken place and
arrested Simberg, Langdon and Southland. The three were released as police
gathered more evidence; Britt said Simberg began cooperating immediately.
Britt said he spoke to Simberg for the last time on Dec. 14, a conversation that
was cut short. The detective said he heard a scream on the other end of the line,
the sounds of a brief struggle and then nothing.
"I thought, 'My God, did I actually just hear what I think I did?'" Britt said.
Hunters found Simberg's body two days later. He had been bound with duct tape,
tortured and killed.
Dennis Tsoukanov, 20, has pleaded innocent to murder and kidnapping in the
death. His two alleged accomplices, Mikhail Drachev and Chris Andrews, both 18,
Britt said police are also investigating whether Southland and Langdon were
involved in the slaying.
In a separate indictment, Southland and Langdon were charged with offenses
including money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud and armed robbery.
They are to be arraigned Feb. 5.
Langdon's attorney, Thomas Baker, said his client legally bought and sold the
shipment of Saizen and had nothing to do with any attempted robbery or break-in.
A lawyer for Southland did not return messages.
02-01-2002, 10:23 AM #2Junior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
Wow thats a lot of growth. and Poor guy that sux.
02-01-2002, 11:40 AM #3Mugs Guest
Thanks for the interesting post!
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