Leesburg Police Department in conjunction with the Washington Field Office Safe Street and the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Canadian man who was living in Leesburg and charged him with distribution of fentanyl and heroin that led to overdose deaths.
According to the documents presented in court by the prosecutor, the suspect was identified as Joseph Riley Curry, 29 years old. He is said to have purchased the deadly drugs from different traffickers who used dark web markets and later supplied them to his customers who were mostly from Loudoun County. According to the judge, the drugs that Curry sold to his customers were linked to two overdose deaths that occurred in March 2016. Also, the same drugs caused an overdose – the victim required immediate medical attention for recovery.
The suspect was finally arrested in August 2017 on charges relating to state felony distribution. As the suspect was in police custody, he communicated with an outsider to destroy the remaining evidence which the police had not yet seized as it could have been used against him in the court of law to prosecute him.
As reported by the court’s document, the suspect pleaded guilty to conspiracy to purchase and distribute heroin and fentanyl which caused overdose deaths. He is now facing possible sentencing for a minimum twenty years in prison which may escalate to life imprisonment, if convicted on February 22, 2019.
In the meantime, the suspect will remain in police custody until the next hearing which will determine when his case will take place. Many drug traffickers, who are operating on darknet markets and mixing fentanyl with heroin without considering the devastating effect it has on users, may learn a lesson from this.
The opioid crisis in the United States of America has reached a point where the authorities have had to take strict measures to combat the menace. The number of overdose deaths related to opioids, especially fentanyl, has increased in recent years. The primary source of the deadly drugs has been the dark web, specifically from the Chinese market.
This prompted the government, headed by President Trump, to stop any importations and use of the drugs within the American jurisdiction. Recently, a number of dark web marketplaces have banned the sale and advertisement of fentanyl probably due to the devastating effect it can cause.
In the latest report on darknet fentanyl use, the American government is placing blame on their Chinese counterparts for not mitigating the drug sale business. The drug travels far before it finally reaches the American market. Mostly, the dark web drug traffickers use postal services to send their laced parcels with the drugs to Canada or even Mexico. From there, the drug traffickers ship the drugs to the American market using various methods, including postal services.
In the process of transporting them, most of the opioid drugs are mixed with heroin and cocaine due to their high potency in order to increase their product sale. Since fentanyl has a similar physical structure to heroin and cocaine, most drug users do not differentiate the drugs, thus they accidentally overdose. This has greatly contributed to the high number of deaths.
Some measures need to be taken seriously by drug consumers; sometimes they are not aware of what they are consuming. It is highly advisable that drug consumers have an antidote, like naloxone that works by suppressing the overall effect of opioids, with them.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has teamed up with other law enforcement agencies to fight dark web drug trafficking. Through operations like Dark Gold and Operation Disarray, the agencies have gone undercover to unravel the cybercriminals. Many drug traffickers have been arrested as a result of the cooperation – most of the traffickers attempted to sell illegal drugs to an undercover agent.
Operations like these have significantly reduced the number of drug traffickers using the dark web and postal services to deliver their drugs. However, due to the high reward-risk ratio, more drug traffickers are taking the risk of using the dark web in order to reach out to more customers worldwide.