BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Dr. Anthony Galea pleaded guilty to a federal charge on Wednesday, admitting that he smuggled human growth hormone and other drugs over the border from Canada.
Galea and an associate were accused of bringing the drugs into the U.S., many times via the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, to illegally treat patients in 13 U.S. cities.
"In essence, the defendant today pleaded guilty to introducing misbranded and unapproved substances into interstate commerce," said U.S. Attorney William Hochul.
Galea was indicted on five counts in October. He is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States.
Prosecutors revealed that Galea had about two dozen patients here, all professional athletes, including football players Jamal Lewis and Takeo Spikes, a former Buffalo Bill.
Tiger Woods was also a patient of Dr. Galea's.
"I think in fairness to Tiger Woods, he only received one of the four treatments specified which was platelet rich therapy which is perfectly lawful," said Brian Greenspan, Galea's Canadian attorney.
For the proceedings before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara, Galea was represented by Buffalo attorney Mark Mahoney.
Will any of the athletes treated by Galea face charges? Perhaps.
"We have made the determination so far that the athletes are witnesses, so they would not be charged if they provided truthful information," said Hochul.
"If there was untruthful information they could potentially be charged in their own crime," he added.
Galea faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 19, but will likely receive a reduced term of 18 to 24 months in exchange for his guilty plea.
He remains free until sentencing.