A dark web fentanyl dealer has been sentenced to seven years in prison for selling several doses of the illegal substances on numerous marketplaces. According to Debra Parker, Special Agent in Charge of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and Seattle Field Office, the culprit, 40-year-old Mathew Witters, was sentenced in a U.S District Court, after he had pled guilty in June to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Special Agent in Charge Debra Parker, stated that dark web drug traffickers like Witters don’t care about the numerous dangers these illegal substances present to the public. According to him, fentanyl poses a great risk to the community and added that: “HSI, with our law enforcement partners, will continue to seek out and cleared from our streets those involved in the illegal drug trade.”
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U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran stated that the fentanyl dealer was active on the now-defunct dark web marketplace, AlphaBay and Dream Market from 2017 to 2017, when it was shut down. Court documents revealed that the Seattle fentanyl dealer made over 2,300 sales of pills over the dark web and made over $1 million as proceeds from the criminal activities.
U.S Attorney Moran, after the sentencing, stated that dark web fentanyl dealers who prioritize their personal gains over that of public safety justifiably should face significant federal prison sentences. He added that trafficking these illicit substances put at risk not only the end-user but also innocent people and passer-by’s such as postal workers or family members who might come in contact with the highly toxic substance.
The dark web fentanyl dealer came to the attention of law enforcement after his contact and personal information, as well as his dark web monikers, were discovered and linked to drug trafficking operations in California and Oklahoma.
A joint operation by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), in December, seized over $1 million in several cryptocurrencies, physical cash and other funds, which the fentanyl dealer admitted were the proceeds of his dark web drug enterprise. The fentanyl dealer also stated that his business on now-defunct dark web marketplace ended after it was shut down by law enforcement in July 2017.
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Witters was arrested by officers of Homeland Security Investigations and USPIS on Dec 10, 2018. A search warrant was executed the following day on a leased safe deposit box in Washington bank owned by Witters and officers uncovered over $165,000 in cash, a loaded Glock 27 pistol, several pills of illegal substances, mailing labels and stamps.
The fentanyl dealer had been in custody since his arrest and pleaded guilty to charges on June 13, 2019. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, at the sentencing hearing, ordered Witter to forfeit the funds he amassed through his illicit dark web drug dealings. Judge Coughenour, added that the Seattle native sold “an enormous quantity of an extremely dangerous drug.”
Court documents also revealed prosecutors agreed to cap their sentencing at a maximum of ten years in prison. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas M. Woods and Neal B. Christiansen.
Source: Komo News
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