Despite the numerous warnings by Europol, the Drug Enforcement Agency and other bodies in charge of controlling drug trafficking in the U.S. and across the globe, drug users and vendors still go all out to purchase and sell illegal drugs using the dark web.
With respect to the arrests made by authorities recently, two 20-year-old Iowa men found themselves in police custody for purchasing drugs on a darknet market.
Cameron James Lensmeyer and Evan Paul Sage pleaded guilty to all counts against them. This followed the recent charges leveled against two other Iowa men for selling drugs to college students. Many other dark web drug-related cases have been dealt with in the past month.
The Inside Story
Authorities were alerted about the drug trafficking engagement of the duo. According to a Department of Justice press release published after the arrest of the suspects, law enforcement action was first taken with an intensive search in their house in Cedar Falls.
During the search, authorities identified a bunch of drugs purchased from the dark web. These included carfentanil, cocaine and marijuana. They also discovered over 30 grams of cocaine, 600 grams of marijuana, 800 pills of oxycodone, .32 caliber handgun and a cash amount of $20,000.
Authorities also found a supply of blue pills which contained carfentanil, used as an elephant tranquilizer. The fact that Lensmeyer and Sage lived in a shared apartment made the search easier.
According to an indictment, which was unsealed at the United States District Court in Cedar Rapids, Sage was charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Lensmeyer was also charged with the possession of carfentanil with the intent to distribute.
Just as most of the illegal drug vendors, Lensmeyer and Sage were in the business of purchasing the drugs online at a fair price and selling them to targeted customers. The popularity of this kind of business has contributed to a high rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. and Europe.
The possession of drugs is a common offense in the U.S. and it is strictly punishable by the law.
Their Probable Sentence
Considering the gravity of their crime in relation to the law of the land, Lensmeyer is likely to face up to 20 years in prison. The law also demands that offenders of such crimes are subjected to up to a lifetime supervised clause and a $100,000 fine.
Sage is also likely to face an addition of a minimum of ten years up to a lifetime prison sentence and a $5,250,000 fine. Authorities also revealed that Sage would likely be under a five-year supervised released clause.
Lensmeyer faces a $100 fine of special assessment, while Sage faces $200. Their sentence is meant to send a message to other drug traffickers on the kind of action authorities are likely to take. Apart from the arrests, authorities have tried their possible means to formulate plans to control opioid distribution on the dark web.
The arrest and the charges of these two drug traffickers have pushed authorities to express their worries on the recent rise of drug-related activities in the U.S. Apart from the fact that this kind of activity is prohibited by law, the drugs involved are capable of causing loss of human lives.
Carfentanil, for instance, is very potent and dangerous for human use, yet it is still traded secretly on the street. Carfentanil has been said to be 100 times more portent that fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine. This explains why the drug has been ruled out of human use.
U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan Jr. expressed his concern on how drugs sold on the street are dangerous. According to him, counterfeit pills have become too common, and pills that are purchased off the internet and the street mostly contain more dangerous drugs than the buyer may realize.
The case has not ceased as the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force are still engaging in the investigation, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Chatham.
Drug Problem Continues to Get Worse
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, the use of drugs—especially heroin—has become worse for the past 20 years.
Considering the fact that statistics favor this statement, another observation also supports it—researchers have confirmed that heroin users have doubled since the year 2000. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a special report in 2016 indicating that opioid overdoses have significantly increased over the years.
Exceedingly, the reason is always attributed to darknet markets, which have been labeled to provide an ideal hub for illicit operations.