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Mr. Universe Faces Steroid Charges

June 14, 1990

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ The reigning Mr. Universe faces federal charges of conspiring to smuggle anabolic steroids into the United States, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Matthew Dufresne, 24, of Hampden was indicted by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Tuesday on charges of conspiring to import steroids from Belgium and with possession of 5,000 doses of the drug.

In October 1989, he was chosen Mr. Universe by the North Atlantic Body Building Association. He was only the second person to win that title in the same year he was named Mr. America.

Anabolic steroids are used to build muscles and stamina, but can have dangerous side-effects and are banned by international athletic organizations.

The indictment charges that Dufresne went to Belgium last October and gave $500 in cash to an unidentified individual. On Jan. 5, Dufresne ″removed a package containing anabolic steroids and labeled ’X-mas gifts. Toys 3/8‴ from a post office box in Hampden, the indictment charges.

Court officials said no arraignment date has been set for Dufresne, who faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in prison and fines totaling $260,000 if convicted, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha D. Josephson.

Dufresne did not return a telephone message left at his home Wednesday by The Associated Press.

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