Xanax Vendor Confessed Bearing Cryptocurrency Wallets Lost Keys

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Googleplex, who is believed to be a manufacturer and distributor of counterfeit alprazolam pills (Xanax pills), told the court that he did not know how to access his Cryptocurrency wallets. As per the court proceedings, the vendor has repeatedly refused to help the government recover the assets that are stored in at least ten Cryptocurrency wallets. After deciding to fight nine drugs trafficking and money laundering charges in a jury trial initially, Stephan Caamano, 23 years old, of Champaign, Illinois, has changed his mind and pleaded guilty to seven charges. The government is seeking a forfeiture of over $2 million in the form of a number of assets, including $45,000 in cash, a vehicle, Ethereum, Neo, and many other forms of Cryptocurrency. The government has calculated the total financial judgment through an interesting investigation into the sources of materials that have been used by Caamano during his operation.

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DEA Special Agent, named Todd Emery has written that the investigators learned that Caamano had purchased his binding agents and related materials from a company known as LFA Machines. On the website of the company LFA Machines, it describes Firmapress [the binding agent Caamano used] as an all in one binding, flowing, lubricant and filling agent. Investigators have pulled the payment records from Paypal, Stripe, a Navy Federal Credit Union, and customer data from the company LFA Machines. They have learned that Caamano had purchased in a total 1,350 kg of Firmpress, between 50 kg and 150 kg every month or the every other month. DEA analysts have weighed over 80,000 counterfeit Xanax pills that the DEA had seized during the investigation into Caamano’s case. They have determined that the vendor had used 313 mg of Firmapress per Xanax pill. A single 313 mg Xanax pill unit would have contained approximately 300 mg of Firmapress, 2 mg of alprazolam, and 11 mg of miscellaneous contents.

Additional factors played a huge role in this figure, such as the timing between seized packages and purchases of Firmapress. Many of the packages shipped by Caamano had never reached their destination due to incorrectly addressed shipping labels. This has resulted in a number of strangers receiving packages of Xanax pills. Those strangers handed over the packages to the police, who then alerted the DEA. This helped the DEA build a profile of the packages that Googleplex mailed to his customers. They further learned that Caamano had been using Easypost to purchase and print his shipping labels. They have associated an Easypost account number containing Googleplex packages and making the interception even simpler. One such seizure has involved four boxes of counterfeit Xanax pills with more than 80,000 pills altogether.

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Dark Web vendors frequently take help of the postage services such as Easypost (through Bitcoinpostage.info) or Encidia (through Stampnik) and law enforcement is pretty much aware of the popularity of these services among drug dealers. The investigators have learned that Caamano had charged $0.60 per Xanax pill in all other transactions. This information has contributed to the conservative estimate of Caamano’s total proceeds and recorded as $2,119,999.80—a figure that is represented as: (1,600,000 x $.30) + (2,733,333 x $.60).

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Caamano has maintained numerous Cryptocurrency wallets while the authorities have accessed two of those wallets. One of them contained 64,551.109 Ark and the other contained 1,036 Neo. The government has provided a list of the inaccessible wallets. Caamano has apparently been less than helpful to the government in accessing the coins and he gave several reasons as to why he could not help the government access them, including that he had lost the keys; that he simply did not know how; and that he did not have the equipment needed to access the Cryptocurrency wallets.

In a Motion for a Preliminary Order of the Forfeiture, the government has asked the court to compel Caamano to turn over his private keys or otherwise provide the government with the means to repatriate the coins in the Cryptocurrency wallets. Failure to comply would result in a more severe sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines for obstruction of justice as well as contempt of court.

Source: DOJ


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