Man pleads guilty in St. Louis human growth hormone distribution scheme

ST. LOUIS – A 57-year-old Texas man was sentenced to nearly 3.5 years federal prison and ordered to pay a $95,000 fine for distributing human growth hormone in the St. Louis area.

George Patino, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced Tuesday for conspiracy, smuggling and distributing the hormone for unauthorized medical purposes.

Federal prosecutors say the growth hormone can be used only for specific medical conditions, such as AIDS.

Court documents say from April 2014 through June 2015, Patino sent numerous packages of HGH to a St. Louis doctor and area patients, for use to improve energy, strength, endurance and athletic ability.

The drugs came from a Korean manufacturer that has not been approved to sell it in the U.S.

Dr. Michael Mimlitz previously pleaded guilty to providing misbranded HGH drugs to numerous patients.