Virginia man sentenced for conspiracy to sell up to 99 pounds of methamphetamine pills on the dark web

A Virginia man has been sentenced to 52 months in prison for conspiring to distribute 15 to 45 kilograms of pills containing methamphetamine through the dark web, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to court documents, from about May 2019 through December 2019, Tyler Pham, 39, of Fairfax, conspired to distribute peach tablets advertised as Adderall but actually containing methamphetamine throughout the United States via the U.S. Mail. Pham, a supplier of methamphetamine to dark web marketplaces, used the alias "addy4cheap" on two dark web marketplaces, the Empire Market and Cryptonia, where law enforcement officers made 20 controlled purchases from "addy4cheap" between August 2019 and December 2019. The dark web marketplaces made 20 controlled purchases from "addy4cheap" and received a total of 767 peach slices weighing approximately 268 grams.

Once popular for drug dealing, the Empire Market also offered forged documents, such as passports and malware. For a time, Empire Market was the most visited dark web marketplace after dark web marketplaces such as Silk Road and the previous AlphaBay were destroyed and shut down by police crackdowns. But in August 2020, Empire Market fled the dark web by "exiting the scam".

On December 9, 2019, police executed search warrants at the residences of Pham and his co-conspirators, including those of Lien Kim Thi Phan, 37, of Fairfax, and Hon Lam Luk, 35, of Chantilly. At the homes of Phan and Pham, agents found 95 peach slices, and at Luk's residence, investigators found more than 6,000 peach slices weighing approximately 2.2 kilograms, all of which were similar to those advertised on "addy4cheap" and obtained by law enforcement through controlled purchases.

As of December 10, 2019, "addy4cheap" had completed 3,665 sales at Empire Market and received 2,568 reviews. Based on these reviews, sales of "addy4cheap" were approximately $482,572.10 and approximately 44,872 pills were sold. As of November 7, 2019, "addy4cheap" had completed 140 transactions on Cryptonia.

Pham's six co-conspirators - Phan and Duong Nguyen, 29, of Springfield; Son Nguyen, 36, of Annandale; Dat Nguyen, 37, of Alexandria; Trieu Hoang, 39, of Springfield; along with Lukall previously pleaded guilty to the sales conspiracy and were sentenced to more than 13 years in prison.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington District Office; George Scavdis, Special Agent in Charge, Greater Washington District Office, FDA Office of Criminal Investigation; George Scavdis, U.S. Tira Hayward, Acting Chief, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Kevin Davis, Acting Director, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The announcement was made by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis and Special Agent in Charge Jarod A. Forget of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Washington District Division, after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the guilty plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bibeane Metsch and Jay V. Prabhu are prosecuting the case.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI's Washington Field Office's High-Tech Opioid Task Force, which is comprised of FBI agents, FBI analysts and other Task Force partners, including agents and inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and detectives from local assisting police agencies. The Task Force is responsible for identifying and investigating the most egregious dark web markets and suppliers engaged in the illegal acquisition and distribution of controlled substances, including fentanyl, methamphetamine and other opioids, in the marketplace.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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