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The operator of a local gym was placed on five years of supervised probation for pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance.

Luke Gabriel, of Jefferson City, made his plea during a hearing before Cole County Circuit Judge Cotton Walker.

Gabriel was indicted by the Cole County grand jury on drug delivery charges after an investigation into the illegal selling of steroids.

His former wife, Amber Duenkel, of Jefferson City, was also indicted. Her case is scheduled before Judge Walker in August.

Court documents stated the couple distributed the illegal substance between Aug. 1, 2017, and May 15, 2019.

Duenkel allegedly knew her husband sold steroids at Capital Fitness on Eastland Drive, and on numerous occasions, Luke would ask her to bring the pills from home to the gym.

Authorities said a search of their residence on May 15, 2019, turned up $4,289 in cash.

Cole County Sheriff John Wheeler said Duenkel was a deputy with the sheriff's office but was fired May 16, 2019, for a policy violation.

Duenkel allegedly told investigators Luke was unemployed and she thought he only made money by giving training sessions at the gym and through the sale of steroids.

In November 2020, Duenkel filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination in connection with her dismissal.

After a closed session meeting in April, the Cole County Commission approved signing an agreement after the county's insurance company, Travelers Insurance, revoked its right to settle such cases. The commission found it would be cheaper to pay the $5,000 Duenkel was seeking than the estimated $30,000 it would cost to defend the lawsuit.

Under the agreement, the county made no admission.

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