Dark Web Vendor “Owlcity” Sentenced with Deportation Likely on Release

Chrissano Leslie, an AlphaBay Market vendor known as “Owlcity,” was recently sentenced to prison time, and it’s probable that he will be deported after being released. The defense had framed him for being a street-level drug dealer on the dark web, and not as a big trafficker.

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Charges of Drug Dealing

A closeup of addicts exchanging joints for banknotes
Chrissano Leslie was sentenced for drug dealings on the AlphaBay Market and will likely be extradited after discharge.

Leslie was charged for dealing drugs and conspiracy related to money laundering, along with identity thefts. Law enforcement officials arrested him in his house, and he has pleaded guilty for four federal offences.

He admitted to using different aliases namely Owlcity and others, while trading on dark web marketplaces such as AlphaBay Market. He also admitted to selling different drugs like heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and flakka.

Small-Time Drug Dealer

He was sentenced for selling drugs like heroin and fentanyl on AlphaBay Market, while the prosecution framed him with the image of a person standing on a high-tech corner of the street in a sophisticated market of criminals, terming it as a kind of unidentified eBay over the dark web.

Gathering Sufficient Evidence

The investigators have been able to prove that the defendant had used his computer in his house to check out the location of a narcotics package.

According to police records, many of Leslie’s customers were actually undercover DEA agents who purchased the drugs from the defendant.

The agents then followed Leslie to the post office in Hollywood, where he posted their orders along with drug packages for other customers.

The undercover law enforcement agents then had sufficient evidence to issue a warrant in Leslie’s name and arrest him.

They found transaction logs in his house showing Leslie had been involved in around 1,000 transactions. However, most of these transactions were for around three pounds and 1,100 pills over many years.

Judge’s Comments

According to Daniel T.K.Hurley, the senior district judge in the U.S., there has been an increase in the abuse of heroin and fentanyl in recent times. Many people are dying due to overdoses.

Hence, the word must be sent out to such dealers that if they are caught in dealing drugs, there will be heavy consequences.

Dealing on AlphaBay Market

Leslie is 26 years of age and is from Miramar in Florida. He had an excellent feedback record and a 98 percent rating for his drug dealing business on the dark web.

According to investigators, he was finally caught selling drugs on the AlphaBay Market, due to his over-dedication to customers.

This was because he was delivering the drugs to the customers he had acquired on AlphaBay Market, using the priority mail of the post office.

Everything was running smoothly until one customer complained he had not received the drugs package. On hearing this, Leslie logged into his tracking services of the post office in order to find out the location of the drugs parcel.

DEA officials noticed this and then tracked his device and located him.

Recommended Sentence

According to Robert Trachman, who is Leslie’s lawyer, it is too harsh to sentence him for the recommended period of seven to eight and a half years for crimes involving narcotics and he has suggested for four years in jail.

Leslie’s Statement

Decorative Scales of Justice on the table. Focus on the scales
Leslie was charged for dealing drugs and conspiracy related to money laundering, along with identity thefts. Law enforcement officials arrested him in his house, and he has pleaded guilty for four federal offences.

Leslie also had many friends and family members to support him through the trial. His mother, along with his wife, claimed that he was a very hardworking and clever man, but that he had made a terrible mistake.

Leslie also stated to the judge that he was ashamed of his acts and was sorry to have used his talents and energy for committing criminal offenses on the dark web.

Leslie is a citizen of Jamaica and lives in South Florida. He stated that he had lost his green card and work permit after previously being arrested for the possession of marijuana.

He had then decided to sell drugs on the AlphaBay Market, as it was the only alternative to starving.

Are Prescription Meds Cheaper on AlphaBay Market

Some people are realizing that it’s cheaper to purchase prescription drugs on Alpha Bay Market than from physical stores.

It’s now cheaper to buy prescription drugs on Alpha Bay Market than from over the counter.

According to some users on the darknet platform, most general practitioners and hospital medics reduce the quantity of items prescribed in order to make their own profits.

For instance, if a patient requires pills to last for about 10 days they instead get treatment for 2-3 days. This is so that the patient can continue buying items from them continuously.

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Additionally, hospital consultants are claiming that they can’t afford to give a prescription for certain medicines such as codeine, saying it’s a stretch on their resources, and people should, therefore, get medicine pills from general practitioners.

Something that can be very expensive compared to buying the same items on Alpha Bay Market.

Another example is practitioners reducing down on diazepam dosage; medics may recommend 2 mg.

tablets after every 3 days to a week then again pay another £8.50 the following week, hiking prices of small quantities of diazepam to rates of up to £34 a month for products like 80 mg. of diazepam.

However, on Alpha Bay Market 160 mg. of the same drug can be obtained for only £14.

The situation gets even grimmer for those with rare conditions like certain types of cancer.

NHS has openly refused to subsidize the price of drugs used to manage these conditions. Buying them privately from clinics is way more costly than most people can afford.

People are warning industry regulators that this kind of manipulation on the price of prescriptions will only make them seek these products on darknet markets such as Alpha Bay Market.

There are many honest vendors on these platforms who understand the importance of providing affordable medication at decent rates, they don’t scam people and are very reliable as well.

For some medicines like Ibuprofen, Zantac and paracetamol doctors don’t even bother prescribing them to patients since these are cheap and not profitable to them.

For some medicines like Ibuprofen, Zantac and paracetamol doctors don’t even bother prescribing them to patients since these are cheap and not profitable to them.

One of these drugs can cost only 25 pence a pack. Moreover, they know that if they make Omeprazole available for sale without prescription, then that could save people lots of money.

But the medics won’t do that since they’re cashing in big by charging patients up to 8 quid for x28 tablets.

Some people believe that NHS is manipulating the prices so as to trick patients into spending more money on them than they usually ought to.

In some cases, drug prices have been pushed up by even 2000% more than what’s found on Alpha Bay Market.

The NHS failure to regulate drug rates and lack of proper funding affects the most vulnerable members of society, some of who have been making contributions to state medical plans their entire lives.

While in most countries you can buy Prilosec from over-the-counter, in others a medical prescription would be needed first before getting this drug.

Through NHS you can receive only X28 tablets of this drug at £8.50, whereas buying it online, you can get x350 pills for just £10.00.

Death Pill Disguised As Other Drugs

dangerous-diet-pillsReports indicate that fentanyl is being sold disguised as other drugs and this has resulted in a string of overdose cases in the U.S. Authorities have also observed that prescription drugs as well as opiates provided by illegal sources are all laced with fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

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Reports also point out that fentanyl nasal sprays, U-47700 (a research opiate) and geltabs are available on the darknet market, Alpha Bay Market, in Pez candies form. However, someone called Trappy_Pandora, who manages the public relations for the Alpha Bay Market, said that thedarknet market does not entertain vendors who want to sell Xanax cut with fentanyl.

In November last year, a man who sold selling Xanax with traces of fentanyl was arrested in California after a couple of his clients died due to overdose. Last month, a woman in Maryland passed out after she took what she believed was Xanax that she had purchased from illegal sources. In April, Florida authorities identified shipments of fake Xanax pills that contained fentanyl. In fact, authorities have seized shipments containing professional-grade fentanyl pills across America. Cases of overdosing were reported from California after users took fentanyl believing it to be Norco, which is a less powerful prescription pain medication.

Though fentanyl is often sold, disguising it as something else for facilitating distribution, it is not clear as to why drug suppliers tend to mix fentanyl with Xanax, especially when the ingredients required to make Xanax are cheaper compared to those required for making fentanyl. According to Melvin Patterson, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a marketing tactic employed by sellers to quickly get new customers.

c7cbbcefa3510d350644e80c41e8017c (1)Trappy_Pandora of Alpha Bay Market reportedly wrote on a thread on Reddit that people die because of vendors passing fentanyl as something else other than fentanyl. He believes that fentanyl got into Xanax supplies either because of poor management of drug stashes or by accident. He added that allowing all of the customers is not an economically viable proposition. According to him, Alpha Bay Market does not offer any services to those who are selling Xanax that has fentanyl.

The drug prevention supervisor, Linda Auerback, is doubtful if counterfeit Xanax is an accident. According to her, some people participating in her outreach programs refer to it as the “killer pill.” They seek out these pills on purpose. On the other hand, some others get to use the pills purely by mistake.

Frequently, doctors prescribe Xanax with opiates to patients who struggle with pain and experience difficulty in sleeping. It is a known fact that recreational users purposely mix these two substances in order to experience a twist to the high they usually experience. Experts say that the mixture accelerates respiratory depression and can be deadly. Therefore, they are advocating establishment of drug checking facilities for opioid and pill suppliers and users, similar to those set up in the 1990s for verifying MDMA’s composition.

According to epidemiologist Michael Gilbert who specializes in harm reduction, the “death pill” is not the only product available on the market that confuses people. Additionally, he noted that the way in which people take opiates is also quickly changing.

AlphaBay “Shansa” Busted On Drug Sales

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cocaine1-300x200The Bundeskriminalamt apprehended a Viennese man (he has not been named by authorities till now) on October 13, 2015, according to reports. The reports also indicate that the authorities seized illegal substances including 1 kg. of ecstasy, 2.8 kg. of amphetamines, LSD blotters, cocaine and a number of research drugs from the house of the 31-year-old Alpha Bay Market vendor. Additionally, the police found illegal guides on his computer and a tableting machine, which, according to them, could be made use of in the production of speed pills and ecstasy. In the dark web, this vendor was widely known by the name Shansa.

The authorities found out that Shansa, the Alpha Bay vendor, carried out as many as 182 drug sales transactions internationally. He sold illegal substances not only in Europe and the United States, but also in Australia and even in India. According to authorities, he also executed 73 domestic illegal substance sale transactions with the buyers from Austria. In a period of just about five months, the darknet market vendor was able to make as much as 15,000 Euro through the sale of illegal substances, according to a report published by the law enforcement authorities.

Alpha Bay Market

Last year, Alpha Bay Market had reported that the number of users on their website had hit the 200,000 mark. The admin of the darknet marketplace had conveyed this news through a post published on the forums. The admin had also thanked the users, on behalf of all of the site’sstaff, the users for their continued support, faith and effort in shaping up their website up as a top-grade online black market.

The site experienced tremendous growth and became one of the biggest darknet black market operators after Agora was closed down in 2015. Alpha Bay introduced several updates to their website and added a range of functionalities in order to maintain their status in the dark web. And through ScamWatch, Alpha Bay was able to stop most of the vendor exit scams, ban many scammers and also offer help to victims by processing their refund requests using the balance funds available in the accounts of banned vendors.
alpha-bay-market-1Alpha Bay experienced a DDoS attack in December last year and as part of their mitigation effort they introduced additional changes, including UI upgrade and, most importantly, the PGP-signed deposit address upgrade, which is meant to handle the dreaded onion cloner phishing scams. They also advised users that they verify the PGP signatures of their deposit addresses against the market PGP key available on the website’s “Contact” page.

In February 2016, Alpha Bay introduced several improvements to their wallets and withdrawal systems with a view to enhance the anonymity of the users of their marketplace. This was followed with the introduction of two-factor authentication (2FA) in March 2016 in order to ensure more security to user accounts. 2FA requires login attempts to be cleared by a user by providing another piece of information, for example, a code sent to their mobile number. This enables Alpha Bay to segregate genuine and not-so-genuine logins attempts.

Alpha Bay Market, which came into existence after the closure of Silk Road 2.0, is an online black market that operates on the Tor network. Launched towards the end of 2014, the website experienced a great deal of patronage within a short span of time. In about a years’ time, Alpha Bay Market became the biggest online black market.

On Alpha Bay Market, the category that experiences maximum sales is drugs. The website has tens of thousands of drug listings, including cocaine, marijuana and MMDA, among others. Watches (counterfeit or stolen), guns, and stolen credit card information are also sold on the site.

All said and done, Alpha Bay Market is one among the few online black markets that offer multiple security measures like Multisig transactions (2/3), 2FA, Withdrawal PIN, Forced vendor PGP and vendor bond. In addition, the website rates vendors on the basis of customer reviews so as to prevent scamming vendors as much as possible.

Maryland Bill To Decriminalize Possession Of Small Amounts Of Drugs

As the number of deaths from the overdose of drugs is increasing throughout the nation, the Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim – a practicing physician has introduced four separate bills to completely alter the drug policy in Maryland. The fourth bill, the Maryland House Bill 1119, decriminalizes the use and possession of extremely small amounts of drugs. Instead of reducing the use of drugs, criminalizing the users of drugs increases the stigma, amplifies the risks of overdose of drugs, and drives the users away from the required treatment and harm reducing services. The main aim of the bill is to keep the drugs users possessing minimal amounts of drugs out of the system of criminal justice and save critical resources and expenses involved in saddling more citizens involved in drugs related crime. The country, which initiated the law for eliminating penalties for the low-level possession of illegal drugs, was Portugal in 2001.

Clauses of the Bill

In addition to limiting the penalties for the possession and the use of de minimis amounts of drugs, the bill aims at penalizing the people involved in possessing, using less than 10 grams of marijuana drugs, or using, possessing the de minimis amount of a controlled dangerous substance. The bill aims to explain the provisions for the issuance of citations to the users possessing or using less than 10 grams of marijuana drugs or using and possessing the de minimis amount of controlled dangerous substance specified. The definitions of the de minimis amounts in the bill are:

  • 10 grams of marijuana
  • 2 grams of cocaine
  • 1 gram of heroin
  • 10 tablets of MDMA
  • 0015 grams of LSD
  • 1 gram of methadone
  • 1 gram of amphetamine

According to the clauses in the bill, the person possessing or using marijuana drugs cannot be fined for more than $1000 or imprisoned for more than a year or both. If the user is a first time user , and is caught possessing or using the de minimis amount , then he cannot be fined for more than $100 and if it is the second time , he cannot be fined more than $250 and if it is the third violation , then he cannot be fined for more than $500.

About Dan Morhaim

Dan Morhaim has been an active member of the Maryland House of Delegates since the beginning of 1994. He serves as a Deputy Majority Leader in the House of Delegates. He is a certified physician who has been in practice for more than 30 years. He has always been in the front line, always treating patients in the internal and emergency medicine. He is an important part of the faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and at University of Maryland Medical School. He has written numerous medical journals and books.

About Dan Morhaim

Prerequisites to fines

Some conditions are imposed alongside the fines. If a person below 21 or 21 is caught committing a violation which is punishable under the subparagraph 1,2 and 3 of this subparagraph, he shall be ordered to visit a drug education center that has been approved by the Department of Health and Dental Hygiene. He will undergo an assessment or test for substance abuse disorder and will undergo treatment if required. If a user is caught smoking marijuana in a public place, he is not to be fined more than $500. If a police officer cites a person possessing the de minimis quantity of the drug, then the citation will have to include the address and the name of the person charged, the time and date when the violation was committed, the value of the fine that is liable to be imposed, and a notice stating the allowance of the prepayment of the fine has to be issued. If a person who is under 21is caught, he will be called for trial. However, if a person is below 18, he will be subject to the Title 3, Subtitle 8A of the Courts Article.

MDMA: One Of The Most Popular Drugs

One of the most popular drugs on today’s market, MDMA, had a much humbler beginning and has seen many ups and downs in its lifetime. It was first synthesized by Anton Kollisch and as with many other drugs; its discovery was a complete accident. The patent for MDMA was used and researched on and off during the coming years, both for medical and non-medical purposes. It wasn’t until 1976 that it was counted among recreational drugs, after research conducted by a chemist Alexander Shulgin, who was later promptly known as the “Father of MDMA.”mdma

The use of MDMA has first spread among drugs used by psychotherapists and was well known for its empathogenic properties, which was also the reason that it started raising its popularity amongst the recreational drugs. The late 80’s were the breaking point for the use of MDMA drugs compared to other recreational drugs. It was at this point that British community started creating parties that were made to enhance the effects of MDMA drugs, featuring strong light and sound stimulants together with a kind of music, specially made for such occasions.

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In today’s culture drugs and mainly MDMA is tightly connected to raves and EDM festivals and as some researchers suggest as much as 70% of festival goers are known to take MDMA drugs or some other stimulants. The reason to why MDMA drugs are so popular can be traced to its effects and use. MDMA’s main effect is that it causes increased happiness or euphoria coupled with stronger sensual perception. All of these effects are reported to increase the appreciation of music and user’s surroundings. Since parties and festivals are large social events, an increase sense of mutual bond and understanding with other people is often visible after MDMA use. The downside of MDMA drugs is in the fact that since it increases the user’s feeling of connection to others it can sometimes cause involuntary and unwanted emotional display. Of the more common physical side-effects are dehydration and jaw-clenching, in which drinking plenty of water and chewing gum is often used as a counter-measure. The long term side-effects differentiate in duration and strength in each user, but in most cases an increased effect of MDMA drugs is reported after a long-time use. There is also the possibility of increased feeling of fatigue the day after MDMA drugs use, which can last even longer in cases of regular intake or mixing with other drugs.

MDMA Drugs

The main problem that is faced with MDMA drugs intake is the inability to determine its purity without a testing kit and even when using a kit, one cannot be 100% sure if the substance has been mixed with other drugs. This is the cause of many overdoses and poisonings from “street” MDMA, since mixed MDMA has a different strength form the pure one.

MDMA drugs are generally considered to be one of the most used recreational drugs and since its first use as such it has had either a steady growth or stagnation in overall popularity. This can be contributed to the shift towards electronic music in the later years, which is tightly connected to MDMA and its culture. Whichever the case may be it seems that MDMA is just going to become more popular and available compared to other drugs as the time goes by.

Some Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Drugs

While drugs and their use is generally looked down upon, due to many cases of misuse and abuse, if one looks into it more deeply there are some interesting stories and facts to be learned. Many of today’s recreational drugs were not invented for their current purpose and many of them were discovered by pure accident to begin with. It was only after time that they became outlawed and in the beginning many of them were commercially sold, mostly as prescribed medication.

LSDProbably one of the most famous discoveries related to drugs dates back to 1943, when Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, while working on a way to prevent hemorrhaging in childbirth, accidentally got exposed to a small dose of Lysergic acid diethylamide more commonly known as LSD. At that time Hofmann had no experience in recreational use of drugs and was astounded by the distortion of reality that occurred after LSD intake, which made him perform an experiment on himself. As later reported he ingested 200 micrograms of LSD on 19th April, after determining it to be the safety threshold. The experience was too strong for him and he had his assistant follow him home. Thanks to the WWII prohibition, there were no cars and Hofmann rode his bicycle home all the while being under the influence of the LSD. After he was assured by his physician at home that he was not fatally poisoned, Hofmann proceeded to enjoy his “trip,” which was later described in his book “LSD: My Problem Child.” After that 19th April became known as the “bicycle day” and is still commemorated by some even today.

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Another LSD-related experiment was performed 1962, which did not have such a “happy” ending, mainly due to questionable scientific legitimacy of the method used and the people performing the experiment. As it stands, three men from the University of Oklahoma, led by Louis Jolyon West decided to test the effect of drugs, by experiment on a 7000 pound elephant and injecting him with 297 milligrams of LSD. The elephant went into a seizure and after an hour and a half of trying to resuscitate him, it died. Later, there was a debate whether LSD overdose was the cause of death, or was it due to drugs administered in the attempt to save the elephants life, but the results were never conclusive. As a reference, at a dose prescribed for humans of 0.003 mg/kg, a dose of about 9 milligrams should have been sufficient, but due to belief of “researchers” that the elephant will have a resistance to drugs they decided to increase the dose 30 times. Later research showed that elephants are actually very sensitive to drugs relative to their size and that even lower amounts would provide measurable results.

However, not all animals react to LSD in a bad manner, as shown by an experiment conducted by Peter N. Witt and later confirmed by NASA. In this experiment several spiders were given different drugs including LSD, caffeine and sleeping pills and their web-spinning capabilities observed. All the drugs administer had a negative effect on the spider’s ability to spin web, except small doses of LSD which actually enhanced it. The experiment was conducted in an attempt to measure the toxicity of drugs based on spider’s performance, but the results were inconclusive in both cases.

Spider Web

LSD is not the only among the great variety of drugs that was experimented with in the earlier years. As stated before, many illicit drugs started their lives as prescription medication. There are reports that Nazi scientists created a cocktail of cocaine, methamphetamine and oxycodone that could make their soldiers march for over 88 kilometers, carrying heavy equipment, without feeling any fatigue. These drugs were never tested on the field as the war has ended before final experiments were finished.

Another instance of today’s illicit drugs being used as medication was in the case of Heroin. In 1898, during a huge tuberculosis outbreak, people were desperately looking for a cough medicine and company called “Bayer,” which was later responsible for Aspirin, marketed Heroin as a safer alternative to Morphine. It was only later that they discovered the severe negative effects that Heroine had on the body as well as its incredibly high addictiveness, which made the company withdraw Heroine as a medicine after a few months.

While many of these stories related to drugs are in case of scientific experimentation in one way or another there are those that have nothing to do with science and have everything to do with plain going-over-the-top. One such story dates back to 1980 and the set of the Blues Brothers movie. According to reports among other things that were covered by the movie’s budget, there was part of it set apart for cocaine. Apparently, somebody decided that the cast and people on the set will function better if they have access to small doses of cocaine. This was the reason that caused one of the stars of the movie, John Belushi to develop a crippling addiction to cocaine, which ultimately led to his death.

The international cannabis day eventProbably the most wide-spread among drugs and the cause of many disputes, Marijuana is especially known for going-over-the-top stories. The international cannabis day, the 20th of April is particularly known to create such stories. There were several reports of people creating the biggest joint in the world, but such cases are rarely well documented. On 20th April in 2013 however, one of the people at Hyde Park was arrested for having a 2 pound-marijuana-joint in his possession. This is the largest documented joint ever created and it is estimated that its worth was around $6000. Its owner was promptly arrested and the joint was confiscated at a great dissatisfaction of nearby onlookers who were lured in by the commotion.

It is important to note that most of these stories date a number of years in the past when the social stigma on drugs was not as strong or the drugs in question was not even invented. The ignorance of people towards the effect of a substance or scientific curiosity was the main cause for drugs being used at first, which had a strong effect on the society, as seen during the “hippie era” and has shaped several generations. Even if it is frowned upon today, the importance of drugs in shaping the history of human society can hardly be overlooked as an important overall factor.