19.04.18 Darknet and Cybercrime Roundup
Throughout the week, an unusually high number of darknet market vendors landed in police custody or faced a judge for sentencing. The cases revealed that United States law enforcement has been targeting opioid dealers for, in since cases, years. And in Austria, amphetamine redistributors keep getting caught via ‘return to sender’ packages. Before are some cases DeepDotWeb covered this week.
Two Pennsylvania Men Charged for Fentanyl Distribution
In this case, authorities in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, charged Jamil Chapman and one of his nephews, Nasai Chapman, with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and an array of related crimes. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said the men had been selling hundreds of grams of fentanyl and carfentanil they had ordered from the darknet.
The case itself began after Jamil Chapman overdosed on heroin at the apartment he had been using to store and pack fentanyl. When the man surrendered to a detention center to serve a relatively short sentence for possession of heroin, the police received a tip that someone in his former apartment complex had been ordering fentanyl and carfentanil from the darknet. They confirmed that Jamil’s nephew, Nasai, had been using the apartment for suspected drug trafficking activities. Jamil, despite the phone system’s warnings about recorded conversations, continued to manage the operation from inside the detention center. The police listened to every call between the two suspected traffickers.
Before Jamil’s incarceration, he had rented another apartment complex. The police obtained a search warrant for the apartments; searched them; found both fentanyl and carfentanil; and found evidence the men had been using the darknet to traffic the drugs. Both have been charged with possession with intent, unlawful use of a communications device, dealing with proceeds of a crime, and corrupt organization.
Three Found Guilty in Fatal Fentanyl Conspiracy Case
During an eight day trial, three Nashville, Tennessee, men were found guilty of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. In total, eight individuals have been convicted of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. According to an announcement from state officials, the three most recently convicted were Joedon Bradley, Johnny Williams, and Jonathan Barrett. Bradley, court documents revealed, played the most significant role in the operation.
The investigation revealed that Bradley and a previously convicted member of the drug trafficking organization had been producing counterfeit oxycodone pills at a large scale. They created the pills with fentanyl, alprazolam, and acetaminophen (Tylenol). And pill binders, of course. Then other convicted members of the conspiracy trafficked the pills in the thousands through the darknet and through alternative local channels. All eight conspirators are currently awaiting their sentencing hearing where they face lengthy prison sentences with mandatory minimums.
Dream Vendor ‘OxyGod’ Arrested in DEA Operation
Three Orange County, California, men operated the darknet market vendor account ‘OxyGod’. OxyGod, in an increasingly common trend, never actually sold oxycodone. A six-month DEA and Costa Mesa Police Department investigation targeted the source of fake oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl or cyclopropyl fentanyl—depending on whatever the team had in stock. Through the OxyGod account on Dream market and others, the three men distributed more than 100,000 pills, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California revealed.
The indictment accused the following three men: Wyatt Pasek, Isaiah Suarez, and Duc Cao. Law enforcement officers said the group pressed fake “A 125” oxycodone pills and sold them on the darknet. Local authorities had obtained a sample of the pills before an investigation into the group started, but the DEA quickly identified one of the group members at the Post Office. After a brief investigation that involved following the suspects to the post office and to their respective homes, federal authorities obtained a warrant for a batch of packages one of the members of the group had dropped off. They found thousands of fake oxycodone pills.
In the raid that followed the package seizure, authorities found a pill press, fentanyl and cyclopropyl fentanyl powder, pill binders, alprazolam powder, and other equipment used in drug trafficking operations. All three are being held on one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Gun Collector Arrested for Buying Pistols on the Darknet
The Customs Investigation Office in Frankfurt and the Central Office of Cybercrime in Bavaria announced the capture of a 54-year-old German man who had purchased multiple guns and gun parts from a vendor on the darknet. Very little information surfaced after the case. The official press release lacked any detailed information on the bust or the details that led to the man’s capture.
Lukas Knorr, head of the Central Office of Cybercrime, indicated that the case and investigation had not been completed. He said that protocol prevents detailed information from being disclosed. Like in previous darknet firearm cases in Germany, the authorities have likely arranged a deal with the suspect in an effort to capture other darknet gun buyers or sellers. They have made the same move in nearly every darknet vendor arrest. Also, it is not unlikely that the authorities caught the 54-year-old through a compromised vendor account. They have successfully flipped a number of vendors, including one of the more famous gun vendors in Germany—the Munich Glock vendor.
Three Austrians Charged for Darknet Distribution
The 2017 arrest of a suspected drug dealer by the Salzburg National Police Directorate led to the arrest of two suspected associates in late March 2018. After the 2017 arrest, the LPD discovered that the man had used the darknet to sell drugs to at least 22 customers. They allegedly managed to confirm the identity of some of the customers. At some point during the investigation, the LPD learned that the originally arrested suspect had worked with two local accomplices.
Through a means the police did not reveal, the LPD caught a 25-year-old and a 43-year-old who had both allegedly worked with the original suspect. One can make an educated guess as to how the police almost instantly identified two suspects they had not even known about for nearly six months. In addition to the 22 suspected darknet drug buyers connected to the first suspect, the police identified roughly individuals who purchased drugs from one of the second suspects. Both of the second suspects allegedly had drugs in their houses and in their possession.
15 Years in Prison for Millionaire Weed Dealer
48-year-old Michael Gordon of Randolph, Massachusetts, will spend 15 years in prison for running a marijuana distribution operation that earned him millions of dollars. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts celebrated the Drug Enforcement Administration’s work in a press release that revealed the impressively structured operation that allowed Gordon to distribute more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana in a short period of time.
His customers made orders from across the United States and the number of customers increased more rapidly than Gordon could initially steadily (and safely) supply. So he took on a partner to help launder the money he had earned and help him receive the packages of marijuana that his supplier had shipped him. The accomplice started renting new apartments in an effort to prevent a pileup of suspicious packages at addresses associated with Gordon. The accomplice—who is currently waiting for sentencing—helped Gordon launder money through real estate and vehicles. The government, of course, has seized all of the houses and cars.