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Three New Jersey men – Chester Anderson (44 years old), Jarrett Codd (41) and Ronald McCarty (51) – have been arrested for operating a fraudulent drug storefront on the dark web via cryptocurrency.
The store reportedly shipped and sold hundreds of thousands of narcotic pills that include fentanyl-laced heroin, ketamine, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), methamphetamines, Steroids, and other controlled substances and hundreds of thousands of counterfeit Xanax tablets across the US in exchange for cryptocurrencies. According to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office, the trio had successfully laundered $2.3 million in cryptocurrency by withdrawing chunk of money from ATMs in New York and New Jersey.
Under the screen name, ‘Sinmed,’ they had sold hundreds of thousands of pills to buyers in 43 states in the US until the New York district attorney’s office seized the operation’s illicit narcotics, and arrested and charged the three men with several counts of conspiracy and money laundering. Anderson was also charged with multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and identity theft.
District Attorney Vance stated:
“When our office received reports of suspicious activity at ATMs in New York and New Jersey, our talented investigators followed the money, using our state-of-the-art Cyber Lab to uncover a dark web counterfeit pill seller whose $2.3 million operation spanned the U.S.”
Manhattan DA investigators have made a series of purchases in cryptocurrency and at the time the trio’s arrest on April 4, the investigators have seized nearly a half-million pills, the largest ever seizure of pills in the state of New Jersey. The seized narcotic pills include approximately 420,000 to 620,000 alprazolam tablets, around 500 glassines of fentanyl-laced heroin and large quantities of methamphetamine, ketamine, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). In addition to the illegal drugs, the investigators have also found drug ingredients, drug manufacturing equipment including four pill presses and two industrial mixers, and thousands of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency.
“Not only is this the first-time state prosecutors in New York have taken down a dark web storefront, this takedown represents the largest pill seizure in New Jersey’s history. If you are engaging in illicit activity on the dark web, you are on notice: we know how to find you, we know how to put you out of business, and we know how to hold you criminally accountable.”
According to the official press release, the Manhattan DA’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau came to the knowledge that the defendants had packed more than 1,000 of packages that were shipped from New Jersey to 43 other states of the country. In addition to that, the investigation team intercepted 8,000 of tablets by tracking those packages. Reportedly, It was ‘largest pill seizure in New Jersey’s history.’