Dark Web Drug Dealers ‘Pill Cosby’ Charged

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Two Colorado brothers who used the dark web page ‘Pill Cosby,’ to run an illegal drug empire has been charged. According to the federal indictment, the two brothers sold fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, crystal meth, cocaine, and heroin, through their dark web vendor page ‘Pill Cosby’ and are bow facing 21 counts in the case.

Sasha and Khlari Sirotkin are two of the five people, accused of running one of the biggest dark web drug trafficking organizations  in the United States. Further reports from the Department of Justice stated that the pair also laundered money as part of their illegal drug trafficking ring. The duo, together with the rest of the co-conspirators were arrested in December 2019 and have appeared before a court in Cincinnati.

Pill Cosby

Image Source: www.health.harvard.edu

In a statement released on January 15, the Department of Justice said: “The two defendants allegedly specialized in the manufacturing and distribution of over one million fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills and also laundered approximately $2.8 million throughout the conspiracy.” “The synthetic fentanyl pills, along with heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, were shipped to the Southern District of Ohio and then throughout the country,” it added.

The two brothers and the other three accused in this case, reportedly sold the illegal drugs on several dark web marketplaces, including Silk Road, Wall Street, Dream Market, and other drug-infested dark web marketplaces. According to the federal indictment, Pill Cosby made over 5,400 deals on their Pill Cosby vendor account on Dream Market.

U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, also speaking after the federal indictment stated that it doesn’t matter where a drug dealer is, whether on the streets or behind a computer. “If you deal in synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, as is alleged here, we will identify you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers added.

The drug trafficking ring also sold illegal substances over encrypted communication applications such as Wickr, which is been heavily used to hide private information and by drug dealers and other criminals. The communication app, however, wasn’t designed solely for that, as it is also used by legitimate people such as journalists and activists. According to prosecutors, the dark web drug trafficking ring also had a group named ‘SlangGangCentral’ created on Wickr chat, where over 85 different buyers hanged and exchange messages.

Pill Cosby, also had a group on messaging platforms such as iMessage and WhatsApp where they discussed and organized their dark web drug dealings. According to the indictment, in an iMessage chat which as obtained by the police, Khlari was boasting about making $20,000 a month and claimed he was on course of getting a $1.8 million cut from a marijuana crop. “We are going to be so loaded,” he wrote to one of the alleged culprits in this case.

Investigators also revealed that the Apple account contained an explicit detail for fentanyl pill production in the Notes app. The ring also reportedly ran operations across Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Durango and Denver in Colorado. Their Customers were based across the United States, the indictment revealed.

The federal indictment also accused Khlari Sirotkin as the mastermind behind the money side of the dark web drug trafficking operation. He reportedly hid behind their other moniker SlangGangCentral, and helped in running dealer accounts and also the criminal proceeds in cryptocurrencies. Sasha Sirotkin, also allegedly was in charge of packaging from North Hollywood, California.

Pill Cosby saw its six-year dark web drug trafficking and money laundering come to an end following an undercover sting where federal agents spent over thousands of dollars in following and tracking packages as well as payments. Unsealed court documents earlier this week stated that investigators as part of their surveillance on the two brothers and the dark web trafficking ring found a link between a cryptocurrency wallet and several Amazon accounts held under the name of their mother.

The lengthy surveillance operation on the dark web ring, also revealed that Khlari Sirotkin bought several items for which were used in manufacturing counterfeit pills, packaging, distribution and the concealment of cryptocurrency, using an Amazon account registered in his mother’s name as well as an email address. The drug ring is alleged to have manufactured over 1 million fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills in total, according to prosecutors.

Pill Cosby

Image Source: www.benzinga.com

Investigators also revealed that Demetra Isbell, the mother of Sirotkin was also a person of interest to the FBI. Agents subpoenaed online cryptocurrency exchange  Coinbase to release details several customer accounts linked with the alleged conspirators, and one was tied to Demetra Isbell.

Sasha Sirotkin’s defense attorney, Bill Gallagher, stated that, the charges against his client were mere allegations and that the government was yet to provide vital documents and information they believe support their claims. Gallagher added that Sasha Sirotkin was not even a member of the dark web criminal enterprise. Mr. Sasha Sirotkin is a loving brother and son who deeply cares about his family and always strives to do right by them as he stated.

The drug charges against the brothers carry a sentence of up to 10 years to life in prison while the money laundering charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and doesn’t include the charges of attempting to distribute fentanyl, crystal meth and heroin. FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman after the charges stated that “This case proves that as organized criminals use technologies such as the Dark Web, encrypted messaging applications, and cryptocurrencies to conceal their illegal activities, the FBI and other partners will employ sophisticated techniques, creative methods, and a joint effort to hold them accountable,”

Source: KKTV


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