Chrissano Leslie, who is known by his username ”owlcity” among the users of the dark web marketplaces, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale on charges of trafficking MDMA, Fentanyl, cocaine, and a-PVP, according to reports.
Drug trafficking charges were leveled against him following a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation into one of the most popular darknet marketplaces, AlphaBay Market, a darknet site that sells a host of illicit goods and services.
Initially, the operation was initiated for the purpose of nabbing Leslie for dealing in heroin and fentanyl, but the agents got hold of cocaine, MDMA, and a-PVP when they raided his home.
As it stands, he will have to face all of these charges in a federal court.
The DEA initiated an investigation of Leslie after he carried out a series of drug transactions over the past year on AlphaBay Market.
In March this year, undercover agents who posed as buyers sought some amount of “China white heroin” on AlphaBay Market.
Leslie, who was operating as a vendor on the AlphaBay Market site, quickly accepted payment in bitcoins from the agents, like any other vendor operating on the site, and then duly filled in their order.
The undercover agents, who had agreed to pay $510 in Bitcoin for the shipment, wanted it to be sent to an unspecified mail drop.
According to Francisco Maderal, a federal prosecutor, Leslie reportedly told the DEA agents, for some unknown reason, that their package would be delivered from a particular U.S. Post Office in Hollywood.
The undercover DEA agents kept a watch on the said Hollywood Post Office and saw Leslie drop the package.
The agents then intercepted the package and tested the drugs to confirm that it was fentanyl.
Subsequently, the DEA agents raided the suspect’s home.
During the raid, they found out Leslie’s computer and gleaned evidence as regards to importation of fentanyl from China.
Though the federal government is known to allow importation of some amount of drugs, Leslie’s fentanyl trafficking is not likely to fall under what is termed as the importation of personal prescriptions.
Typically, individuals in the U.S. are not allowed to import prescription drugs into the country.
However, the FDA does provide guidance for the importation of unapproved new drugs under “Coverage of Personal Importations.”
According to a DEA affidavit, criminals are taking advantage of the anonymity offered by the dark web for creating online black markets like AlphaBay Market and use them for trafficking controlled substances as well as a great deal of other illicit goods.
If the charges are proved in court, Leslie would have to serve more than ten years in jail. Of course, it all depends on how the hearing proceeds.