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Canadian woman who assisted drug doctor sentenced

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WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley
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Mary Anne Catalano at U.S. Court, Buffalo, NY

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-979160.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The Toronto woman who assisted a Canadian sports doctor in smuggling drugs over the border was sentenced in Buffalo Monday.

33-year-old Mary Anne Catalano was spared jail time for assisting Dr. Anthony Galea as he treated some top professional athletes with human growth hormones.

Catalano was arrested at the Peace Bridge in September of 2009. Prosecutors say her cooperation led to the doctor's arrest.

Catalano appeared before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara. He sentenced her to one year probation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Campana handled the case.

"The judge could have sentenced her to five years, but the sentencing guidelines prescribed a much lower sentencing then that, and with her cooperation she was eligible for a sentence of zero to six months. And we asked that it be zero months, in other words a probation sentence," said Campana.

At the time of Catalano's arrest, she told customs and immigrations agents that the medical equipment and supplies she was transporting were intended for display at a medical conference.

Later she admitted to investigators the materials were for Dr. Galea so he could perform a medical procedure on a professional sports player in Washington, D.C.

"She gave us true and complete information and she started cooperating immediately, very soon after she was arrested, and on the same day she was arrested on September 14, 2009. So she pretty, much from the start, was on board in the investigation against Dr. Galea," said Campana.

Prosecutors said Catalano's cooperation was "essential" in the doctor's case.

Galea pleaded guilty earlier this month in Buffalo that he smuggled unapproved drugs, including human growth hormones, over the borders to treat professional spots figures in the U.S. He will be sentenced in October.

Catalano apologized for her actions. She told the judge she takes full responsibility and deeply regretted her actions.