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Three Individuals Sentenced in Darknet Narcotics Trafficking Conspiracy Involving Distribution of Pills Pressed with Fentanyl

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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Conspiracy Involved Multiple Kilograms of Pills Purchased with Bitcoin

WASHINGTON – The last of three defendants was sentenced Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for illegal sales of opioids on various Darknet markets.  The Honorable John D. Bates sentenced Alex Ogando to 12 years.  Olatunji Dawodu and Luis Spencer were previously sentenced to 12 years and 12 ½ years, respectively.  All three defendants were convicted of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl. 

The Darknet operations pumped kilograms of fentanyl pills into communities across the nation over the course of four years, using Darknet markets including AlphaBay, Dream, Wall Street, and Empire to reach a broad customer base.  The defendants also used encrypted messaging services to communicate with and sell pills directly to customers.  In exchange for cryptocurrency, the defendants sold fentanyl pills that were shipped via the U.S. Postal Service to buyers in the District of Columbia and all 50 states.  The conspiracies relied on sophisticated technology to distribute and profit from a staggering quantity of pills pressed with fentanyl.

The case was prosecuted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Crane and Assistant U.S. Attorney Connor Mullin.  The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force, which is composed of FBI agents, analysts, and task force partners, including special agents and officers of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, DEA, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and detectives from local assisting police agencies. Additional assistance was provided by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the District of Rhode Island and the Southern District of Florida, the FBI’s Miami and Boston Field Offices, and the IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Drug Trafficking

Component(s): 
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
USAO - District of Columbia
USAO - Florida, Southern
USAO - Rhode Island

Press Release Number: 
23-164

 
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