It’s buckets of pills as multi-million dollar dark web drug takedown brings largest pill bust in N.J. history – nj.com

Three New Jersey men were charged in a sprawling $2.3 million scheme to peddle drugs using the anonymous dark web in a case that led investigators to the largest seizure of pills in state history, officials said Tuesday.
Chester Anderson, 44, Jarrette Codd, 41, and Ronald MacCarty, 51, were indicted for operating digital “storefronts” that sold and shipped thousands of counterfeit Xanax tablets along with other drugs to customers in 43 states, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office , which led the probe. The illicit drug stores were accessible using what is known as the dark web, an anonymous and encrypted network that requires a special browser to reach and does not appear in standard search engines.
Prosecutors said the ring also laundered $2.3 million in cryptocurrency they gained from the sales by using preloaded debit cards and withdrawing cash at ATMs in New York City and New Jersey.
These sellers operated on a dark web marketplace called “Dream Market.” Dream Market looks a lot like Amazon, except you need a Tor browser to get there, and cryptocurrency to pay with. From our cyber lab, we made undercover purchases of 10,000+ Xanax tablets, ketamine, & GHB👇 pic.twitter.com/LDV8cceKN5 — Cyrus Vance, Jr. (@ManhattanDA) April 16, 2019
“When our office received reports of suspicious activity at ATMs in New York and New Jersey, our talented investigators followed the money, using our state-of-the-art Cyber Lab to uncover a dark web counterfeit pill seller whose $2.3 million operation spanned the U.S.,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
“Not only is this the first time state prosecutors in New York have taken down a dark web storefront, this takedown represents the largest pill seizure in New Jersey’s history,” the district attorney said.
After making undercover purchases using cryptocurrency, investigators served search warrants in New Jersey, according to officials. The raids netted a record-setting approximately 420,000 to 620,000 alprazolam tablets, about 500 glassine packets of fentanyl-laced heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine and GHB.
Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Authorities seized pill presses and other drug manufacturing equipment as of an investigation into drug sales on the dark web, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.
Investigators also recovered four pill presses, two industrial mixers, other drug manufacturing gear and thousands in cryptocurrency, officials said. Anderson, of South Brunswick, is accused of operating two dark web stores using the screen name “sinmed” to sell the drugs.
Codd, a Jamesburg resident, and MacCarty, of Jackson, helped with manufacturing pills and procuring the equipment, according to officials. Manhattan investigators working undercover bought about 10,000 tablets of alprazolam and other drugs as part of the probe.
The accused shipped drugs from New Jersey to buyers around the country, officials said. About 8,000 more alprazolam tablets – many using bogus return addresses of Manhattan businesses – were incepted by investigators.
The trio face charges including money laundering and conspiracy. It was not yet clear if they had retained attorneys.
Vance, Manhattan district attorney, said the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and South Brunswick police assisted in the investigation, as well as the U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Noah Cohen may be reached at ncohen@njadvancemedia.com . Follow him on Twitter @noahyc . Find NJ.com on Facebook .
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