In June, 20-year-old Jesse Erickson of West Fargo, North Dakota, landed in the middle of an ongoing DEA, local police, and Cass County Drug Force investigation. They arrested him at his home where they had caught him with carfentanil. According to local news sites that covered the case, Erickson told police that he had also ordered MDMA that was to arrive shortly after the arrest.
Local police notified the United States Postal Service and they intercepted the package. It had been shipped from the Netherlands and was headed towards Erickson’s house that he shared with his mother. When questioned by police, Erickson explained that he had purchased the drugs on the now-defunct Alphabay market.
Back in North Dakota, Erickson faced one count of possession of carfentanil with intent to deliver, one count of possession of carfentanil, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. (These charges all stemmed from the search warrant police had executed at the 20-year-old’s address.) Not even two days later, the Fargo and West Fargo Police received a phone call from the now-incarcerated man’s mother. She opened two letters with Erickson’s name on them and both contained drugs.
According to one local news source—parts of the story vary depending on the source themselves—the first package contained a Ziploc bag of “LSD powder.” The second contained a Ziploc bag of heroin. Both letters allegedly contained a greeting card and the Ziploc bags were found inside each of the greeting cards.
The same news source reported that authorities found carfentanil in both powder and liquid forms. Again, this was not officially reported. However, a law enforcement spokesperson was able to confirm that no deaths came as a result of Erickson’s carfentanil.
The Fargo Postmaster explained that postal service employees and law enforcement officers were well aware of the darknet and darknet drug markets. However, he said that actually intercepting each and every drug package is currently impossible. They lack the resources to inspect every piece of mail and they currently scan more than 60,000 pieces of mail every day.
Jesse David Erickson received a three year prison sentence for the drug crimes. Unlike many recent darknet cases involving fentanyl and especially involving carfentanil, Erickson’s case caused no overdoses. At the very least, his carfentanil caused no overdoses that law enforcement is aware of. If it had, a prison sentence of more than than three years would have been inevitable.