Spencer Nichols, a first-year student from the University of Minnesota, was arrested and charged in late February with the first-degree sale of narcotics and second-degree possession of a restricted substance following a criminal complaint that said he was selling ecstasy out of his university dorm room.
Cash and Packaging Equipment Found in Subsequent Police Raid
The 18-year-old Rochester-based student was arrested on February 21st and served with two felony charges at the Hennepin District Court.
He allegedly sourced the MDMA from the dark web before repackaging it and selling it to his fellow students out of the Centennial Hall dormitory.
Like many dark web arrests seen in the recent past, a police raid of his Centennial Hall residence unearthed various paraphernalia for packaging drugs such as a vacuum sealer alongside a number of vacuum sealer sachets and two digital scales.
The federal agents also found $26,950 in cash and were advised about an incoming MDMA shipment that Nichols was expecting the following day.
It would later be revealed by the court documents that the intercepted package had contained approximately 54 grams of ecstasy.
Nichols has been handed an unconditional bail of $75,000 and a conditional bail of $25,000.
The federal agents set their sights on Nichols following an ongoing dark web investigation that was being carried out by the Department of Homeland Security.
In conjunction with the University’s Police Department, and with the assistance of the criminal complaint, they had managed to discover Nichols’ ongoing drug operation fueled by the dark web.
Origin of Criminal Complaint not disclosed
It remains unclear where the complaint came from, or whether it was what finally led the law enforcement to stumble upon Nichols’ dark web drug operation.
The 18-year-old first-year student, who is apparently a member if the University’s Alpha Tau Omega based on the University’s fraternity roster, could have been carrying out the dark web operation long before he joined the University.
Online records show that Nichols is still a first-year bioscience student at the University, and has no prior drug or dark web related charges to his name.
The first-degree charge for the sale of more than 50 grams of ecstasy coupled with second-degree drug possession charges that were outlined in the criminal complaint carries a hefty maximum prison sentence of up to 55 years.
The items recovered in the subsequent search of his dormitory revealed that the 18-year-old was not a fresh entrant into the dark web drug mire.
His age makes him able to be tried as an adult in court, and as such, it is possible that the Rochester native could be slapped with a heavy sentence if found guilty.
The 18-year-old Rochester resident is majoring in bioscience at the University and appears to have been deeply involved with dark web drug dealers, although at the moment no further details have been divulged on this angle.
He will be making his next appearance in court on the March 23rd, 2017.