February 21, 2024

Indictment Charges Alleged Darknet Marketplace Fentanyl Dealer

Indictment Charges Alleged Darknet Marketplace  Fentanyl Dealer

            WASHINGTON – An indictment, unsealed today, charges a Coraopolis, Pennsylvania man with running a counterfeit drug conspiracy that sold fentanyl and methamphetamine disguised as Oxycontin, Xanax and Adderall on a Darknet Marketplace. Jacob Blair, 25, is also charged in a parallel indictment in the Western District of Pennsylvania with possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine related to a February 24, 2022, search warrant. Blair was arrested by FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents on February 24, 2023, in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The indictments were announced by United States Attorney Matthew M. Graves, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

            In the District of Columbia, Blair is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and metonitazene along with money laundering. According to the indictment, since at least May 2022, Blair and his co-conspirators ran a Darknet narcotics trafficking business. Blair and his network operated under the profile name YourVendorsSupplier (“YVS”). Blair’s YVS Darknet marketplace profile page lists over 459 successful drug sales in that time period. YVS was advertised on one darknet market as “a syndicate of professionals that specialize in making the best products the markets have to offer. We focus on quality, consistency, stealth, and speed. Nothing but the best. . . now vending on 5 markets, time will show that we mean business, and we’re here to stay.” YVS listed a variety of drugs for sale on their darknet market vendor account, to include several varieties of counterfeit oxycodone, Adderall and Xanax which, in reality, were fentanyl and methamphetamine. The counterfeit oxycodone pills Blair sold contained fentanyl and metonitazene; the counterfeit Adderall pills contained methamphetamine.

            Blair only accepted cryptocurrency in exchange for controlled substance. Once an order came in, Blair took payment in the form of Bitcoin or Monero (cryptocurrencies) on the marketplaces. After the payment was confirmed, Blair and his network would pack the controlled substances in vacuum-sealed packaging, packaging materials, and padded shipping envelopes to disguise the substance, and would drop the packages in various United States Postal Service drop boxes in West Virginia and Pennsylvania for shipment throughout the United States.

            Blair is also charged with money laundering. According to the indictment, between August of 2022 and at least February 1, 2023, Blair knowingly conducted cryptocurrency transactions, consisting of drug trafficking proceeds, through various cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency exchange businesses in order to conceal that the transactions were from drug trafficking.

            Law enforcement executed a series of search warrants on February 24, 2023, at residences associated with Blair and a storage unit owned by Blair. They seized over 10,000 suspected fentanyl pills, plastic tubs of raw powder, a pill press, and 11 firearms including an AK-47 and AR-15. 

            A separate indictment was filed against Blair in the Western District of Pennsylvania. According to that three-count indictment, Blair attempted to possess over 100 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of a fentanyl analogue; possessed with intent to distribute over 40 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl and 50 grams of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine; and possessed with intent to distribute over 400 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl.

            An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

            The conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison. The money laundering charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. The charges also carry potential financial penalties, and the indictment contains a notice of forfeiture for all illegal gains. The maximum statutory sentence for federal offenses is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. The sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            This case is being investigated by the Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. offices of the FBI, the DEA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Homeland Security Investigations. Valuable assistance was provided by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Moon Township Police Department.

            The District of Columbia case is being prosecuted by AUSA Kevin Rosenberg, of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section. The Western District of Pennsylvania indictment is being prosecuted by DeMarr Moulton.

            An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/washingtondc/news/indictment-charges-alleged-darknet-marketplace-fentanyl-dealer