Benjamin Bricker, a 26-year-old man from Lubbock, was arrested for allegedly buying cocaine from a dark net market, cutting it and reselling it in Hub City. He was charged with a first-degree felony count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams. If proven guilty, this can result in five to 99 years of jail time or life in prison.
Police investigators believe Bricker was selling cocaine from his home address in the 6500 block of 91st Place. Law enforcement authorities arrested the 26-year-old on June 24 at his home after a confidential informant bought 15.4 grams of cocaine from the man. The informant used traceable notes for police to track the alleged criminal.
During the house search, authorities found 13.4 grams of cocaine in Bricker’s bedroom. However, a thorough search of the man’s residence revealed an alleged drug-dealing operation, which investigators believe involved cocaine, MDMA, LSD, marijuana, amphetamines and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Police found the cocaine packed in dosage units, cut with an unidentified chemical, ready to be sold, according to the search warrant.
“Dealers separate their newly ‘cut’ narcotic product into small dosage unit quantities to sell at a higher profit,” an officer stated in the search warrant.
In addition to the drugs, investigators found two handguns, a drug recipe cookbook, a drug ledger, $100 in counterfeit money and more than $10,500 in cash, which they believe were money from Bricker’s drug-selling enterprise.
According to the search warrant, the browser history on the suspect’s phone indicated that he was using the dark web to order narcotics from overseas suppliers.
The search warrant was issued in September for permission to open a Fed-Ex package addressed to Bricker. The 26-year-old’s former landlord picked up the package. He called the police and a drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to the package’s narcotics content.
Bricker was booked and released on bond the same day he was arrested from the Lubbock County Detention Center, according to jail records. The bond was as high as $25,000.
There weren’t many arrests in the US regarding dark web cocaine trade. However, one of the biggest catches was the bust of a whole cocaine ring in New Jersey. The operation required years to carry out, but it resulted in the arrest of 11 men. Christopher Castelluzzo, a 31-year-old from Lake Hopatcong, was charged as the leader of the gang, and was also indicted with the conspiracy to commit murder for his alleged role in trying to kill two men in a drug dispute. The indictments in the case were obtained on March 3, and if the gang leader is convicted he can face 25 years in prison. The criminals were selling cocaine online on a state-wide scale, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Police found $1.2 million in cash in the trunk of a gang member’s car in 2015, which is considered the biggest seize in New Jersey history. When authorities performed a house search, they found about quarter-million dollars in cash along with jewelry, gold bars, 0.25 kilograms of cocaine, ammunition, firearm silencers, cocaine testing kit, packaging materials and other related equipment.