The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that a Norwich man pleaded not guilty to several drug and firearm charges at a court in Bridgeport. A federal grand jury recently returned an indictment charging the man with fentanyl and fentanyl analogue distribution through an account on the Dream darkweb marketplace and related firearm charges.
According to John H. Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned an 11-count indictment on September 6, 2018, charging Barry Duclos, 39, with a host of fentanyl analogue possession and distribution charges, among other crimes. At an arraignment hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons, Duclos entered a not guilty plea to all 11 charges in the indictment. The grand jury returned his indictment review days prior to the arrangement, and Duclos has been in police custody since February 2018.
The indictment accuses Duclos of one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, more than 10 grams of fentanyl or fentanyl analogues; eight counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, fentanyl analogues; a single count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and a final count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Duclos was convicted of selling narcotics in 2001 and larceny in 2017; his criminal record prevented firearm ownership. Yet, when United States Drug Enforcement Administration officers raided his house, they discovered a loaded YHM rifle with several extended magazines.
They also found undisclosed weights of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues stored at various locations inside Duclos’ house. Evidence gathered by the United States Postal Inspection Service and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly convinced a grand jury to convict Duclos for drug distribution on the Dream darkweb marketplace under the username “1nolefb1.”
According to information provided in a February 12, 2018, criminal complaint, Duclos sold fentanyl and fentanyl analogues between September 2017 and February 2018. The criminal complaint specifically points to the 1nolefb1 account on Dream market where Duclos allegedly interacted with customers. The complaint detailed how Duclos used Bitcoin to pay for the opioids and then shipped them to his customers on the darkweb marketplace. There is one problem with law enforcement’s accusation: the 1nolefb1 Dream darkweb market account has not been active since late 2017. Nobody has signed into the account in 2018.
According to the dates listed on the Dream darkweb market account—which are often accurate and reflect dates given in criminal complaints—the owner of the 1nolefb1 account created the account on September 30, 2016. The account was active until December 15, 2017. That means, based on the one date given by law enforcement that could have been accurate, it is likely that Duclos could have operated the account only from September 2017 to December 2017. While this still means it was highly illegal it was far less of a drug trafficking operation than the operation detailed by federal investigators.
And if investigators wanted to accuse Duclos of operating the account, why did they ignore the year between 2016 and 2017 where 1nolefb1 was clearly active. Perhaps Duclos had not always owned the vendor account; in the case of the darkweb vendor “EtiKing”, the original owner sold the account to Jeremy Achey and then helped the Drug Enforcement Administration catch Achey. Perhaps Duclos bought the account from a confidential informant who then helped federal authorities catch Duclos. However, the federal investigators filed a criminal complaint in February 2018. The federal grand jury took more than seven months to return an 11-count indictment based on evidence provided by the investigating federal agencies and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Richards. It is unusual for such a lengthy incarceration would result in a grossly inaccurately concluded investigation.
Regardless, if found guilty of the crimes in the indictment, Duclos faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of up to 40 years in prison.