According to recently unsealed court documents and a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California, a Navy veteran pleaded guilty to trafficking controlled substances through the darknet. Court documents revealed that the 23-year veteran had been importing various illegal substances and reselling them on Alphabay, Dream Market, Hansa Market, and other darknet marketplaces.
U.S. Navy Commander Adolph Garza, 54, sold drugs on numerous darknet drug marketplaces for at least 18 months. The investigation into Garza began on August 12, 2016, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a package of 11 grams of MDMA headed for Garza’s home address in San Diego, California. He continued to buy and sell illegal substances up until his arrest on March 7, 2018.
The man, according to the Attorney’s Office press release, bought and sold cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, ketamine, and MDMA. The case, as described in the Criminal Complaint, was built primarily on routine seizures of MDMA Garza had purchased from vendors in the Netherlands. Even though he lost package after package to Customs agents, Garza continued to purchase MDMA and ecstasy pills from distributors in the Netherlands.
Federal agents wrote that they had primarily seized packages of MDMA and packages of ecstasy pills (i.e., MDMA or MDMA combined with another substance). The second most commonly seized drug in the federal investigation into Garza was ketamine, court documents revealed. In one instance, on April 23, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a package from the Netherlands at Chicago International Mail Facility that had been mailed to “Dolph Garza 3635 7th AVenue San Diego, Ca 92103.” The package contained 32 grams of ketamine. The Criminal Complaint lists at least 15 package seizures. Some packages contained only 10 grams of MDMA. Some contained hundreds of ecstasy pills.
Garza had the pleasure of doing business with two Dream Market vendors who maintained accurate customer records. The first, another San Diego man, sold ketamine and fentanyl on Dream Market. The San Diego man, Sky Gornik, had shipped a package of ketamine to a “Dolph Garza” at Garza’s address, according to records seized during Gornik’s arrest. Ironically, law enforcement in Oklahoma had recently arrested a fentanyl vendor who had maintained a similar list of customers. Gornik’s name and address were on that list. The second list incriminating Garza came from a Washington-based vendor connected to the Furanyl Fentanyl trade on Dream Market named Gregory Smith. His list led to the arrest of several darknet vendors in the United States.
After Garza’s arrest, California authorities charged him with 13 counts of MDMA distribution. He pleaded guilty to a single count of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances by Internet in late July and will face a judge in December for sentencing.