One member of a drug manufacturing ring in Pennsylvania was sentenced to life in prison for selling counterfeit oxycodone pills on the darkweb. The conspirators purchased kilogram quantities of fentanyl on the darkweb, created fake oxycodone pills with a pill press, and then resold the pills both locally and on the darkweb. According to court documents 29-year-old Brett Trageser pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl between October 2015 and May 2017. Trageser reportedly played a major role in the distribution of fentanyl pills manufactured by the ring leader, 34-year-old Nathan Anthony Ott of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
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At the beginning of the drug trafficking operation, Ott obtained kilogram quantities of fentanyl on the darkweb and used a manual pill press to make fentanyl pills. Ott then sold the fentanyl pills locally in Chambersburg. As the operation grew Ott recruited Trageser and other members to help distributing the pills and to keep with the rising demands. Unable to keep up with demand the ring reportedly purchased a motorized press capable of making 5,000 pills an hour. In March 2017 the ring moved the drug trafficking operation to an undisclosed darkweb marketplace and started distributing the pills throughout the US and other parts of the world. They used the United States Postal facilities in Chambersburg and surrounding areas to mail the drugs to their darkweb buyers.
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The ring’s darkweb operation came to an end on May 10, 2017, when law enforcement raided Ott’s home. The raid led to the seizure of two pill presses, packaging and distribution materials, 18,000 fentanyl pills, and powder suspected to be fentanyl. The cops also seized computers and other electronic devices used to facilitate the distribution of the drugs. Ott, Trageser and their co-conspirators were subsequently arrested and charged.
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