Sky Justin Gornik, the 39-year old Clairemont dark web drug dealer who was busted for having a large amount of carfentanil, pleaded guilty in court on May 1 to his involvement in a scheme to distribute, deliver and dispense highly potent illegal drugs with the aid of the dark web. He was accused of smuggling carfentanil, fentanyl, and ketamine, as well as other controlled substances through the U.S. Postal Service.
During a court hearing, presided over by Judge Bernard Skomal, Gornik pleaded guilty to partaking in an operation which involved laundering drug incomes using Bitcoin. He also received additional charges of trafficking other controlled substances which included ketamine, psilocybin, psilocin, amphetamine, buprenorphine, methamphetamine oxycodone pills, dimethyltryptamine, and naloxone.
Gornik, the San Diego native will now serve a minimum and mandatory sentence of 10 years. Before his sentencing, he agreed to turn in his millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies from several accounts including Bitcoins, Stratis, and Ethereum.
According to a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Gornik revealed that he dealt in illegal substances of the dark web for a 3-year period, 2014 to 2017. Additional court documents revealed that, in 2017, law enforcement agents during a raid on Gornik’s Mount Voss home, seized 1.7 grams of carfentanil, a controlled substance which was enough to kill over 85,000 people, together with large amounts of other drugs, and a notebook containing USPS tracking numbers, alongside rolls of labels for printing.
In a public release, U.S Attorney Adam Braverman stressed the dangers presented by these drugs–just a bit of carfentanil the size of a grain of sand was enough to kill a person. “Here law enforcement agents took 86,000 potentially fatal carfentanil doses out of dark web circulation,” he stated. “Along with many other dangerous drugs, including fentanyl.”
He added that they were going in hard on dark web drug dealers and vendors who put lives at risk every day.
Gel tablets, made up of fentanyl and methamphetamine were also discovered, which was later found with Steven Wallace George, a dark web drug dealer in Oklahoma. Gornik was reportedly ordering 600 units of these tablets every week from his Oklahoma dealer who was also ordering it straight from China. His dealer was also arrested and pleaded guilty in federal court to distribution of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He is awaiting sentence.
According to prosecutors, Gornik hid behind many online monikers and sold these drugs on not one but many dark web marketplaces including Abraxas, Evolution, Trade Route, Outlaw Market, Dream Market and the now-defunct AlphaBay. He is now waiting for his sentencing, scheduled for July 16.
Reports have stated that Carfentanil related overdose deaths have increased unprecedentedly since 2017 and state health leaders are worried about the havoc it can bring, with emergency responders also complaining about how the deadly opioid is exhausting their resources.
It has already taken the life on a 21-year-old man in Arizona after he was found dead behind the wheel of his vehicle outside a restaurant. Law enforcement officials initially did not release any information on the drug overdose incident but later stated that the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s report did confirm that carfentanil was the cause.
DEA Special Agent Doug Coleman, who’s worked with the organization for 27 years stated that, the idea behind this new synthetic opioid is to create a more powerful drug than what’s already on the streets. In order to get customers coming back for more he explained that the highest an opioid addict can get is only on his initial high. He also stated that carfentanil is still illegal for human use in the United States, and is only approved for putting down elephants.
Speaking on how to put an end to this before it gets worse, he stated that the target will be to track where the synthetic opioid is coming from. “Carfentanil is an extremely dangerous drug and its presence in Arizona should be incredibly alarming for all of us, including the DEA and our law enforcement partners who continue to combat the opioid epidemic in this state,” he said.