The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
The Department of Justice, through the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team joined Europol to announce the results of Operation Dark HunTor, a coordinated international effort on three continents to disrupt opioid trafficking on the Darknet.
The operation, which was conducted across the United States, Australia, and Europe, was a result of the continued partnership between JCODE and foreign law enforcement against the illegal sale of drugs and other illicit goods and services. Operation Dark HunTor builds on the success of last year’s Operation DisrupTor and the coordinated law enforcement takedown earlier this year of DarkMarket, the world’s then-largest illegal marketplace on the Darknet. At the time, German authorities arrested the marketplace’s alleged operator and seized the site’s infrastructure, providing investigators across the world with a trove of evidence. Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and JCODE have since been compiling intelligence packages to identify key targets.
Four search warrants were executed in furtherance of a multiagency investigation resulting in the seizure of approximately $1 million in drug proceeds (including approximately $700,000 in cryptocurrency), eight firearms, one vehicle, and various controlled substances including MDMA, LSD, and cocaine. The FBI, DEA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and USPIS jointly conducted the investigation. According to court documents, the targets of the investigation were operating over multiple Darknet marketplaces to traffic methamphetamine, counterfeit pressed Adderall (containing methamphetamine), MDMA, cocaine, and ketamine to customers throughout the United States. The investigation revealed that the organization’s base of operations was in Houston, Texas, and the organization shipped to various cities throughout the United States. Six defendants are charged in a five-count indictment in the Southern District of Ohio with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, sale of counterfeit drugs, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The FBI in conjunction with the USPIS, FDA, and DEA, had been investigating a criminal enterprise that operated two Darknet vendor accounts. One of the accounts was operated out of the Miami area and the other out of the Providence, Rhode Island, area. According to court documents, the vendors, Luis Spencer, 31, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Olatunji Dawodu, 36, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Alex Ogando, 35, of Providence, Rhode Island, allegedly advertised and sold pressed fentanyl pills throughout the United States. Agents identified several other co-conspirators and obtained search and arrest warrants for each. During the execution of the warrants, agents seized approximately $770,000, one weapon and approximately 3.5 kilograms of pressed fentanyl. Spencer, Dawodu, and Ogando are charged in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl.
Kevin Olando Ombisi, 32, and Eric Bernard Russell Jr, 36, both of Katy, Texas, are alleged to have participated in Darknet controlled substances trafficking activities using the moniker Cardingmaster and are charged in a 10-count indictment in the Western District of Tennessee with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, attempted unlawful distribution of controlled substances, sale of counterfeit drugs, money laundering conspiracy, and mail fraud.
According to court documents, Ombisi and Russell are alleged to have used the moniker Cardingmaster and conspired and attempted to, and did unlawfully distribute the Schedule II controlled substance methamphetamine, which was falsely represented to be Adderall, through the mail in the Western District of Tennessee and elsewhere. In conjunction with their arrests, the government seized more than $5 million in assets alleged to be connected to the drug trafficking activity. The case was investigated by the DEA, HSI, USPIS, and the FDA, and is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee.