A 35-year-old man from Georgia has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release due to his dark web purchases of U-47700 using cryptocurrency.
Marcus Lenard Armstrong of McDonough, Georgia trafficked the lethal opioid from November 2016 to January 2018.
He had the packages mailed to a location in Charlotte, North Carolina. When the police visited the address, they met the person who was receiving the packages, claiming they were for a “family friend.” This friend later turned out to be Armstrong.
Тhe police confiscated the package and later determined that the white powder was U-47700, an illicit synthetic opioid.
According to court documents, there were two more packages of drugs that were due to be delivered at the same address.
Arrest at Post Office in Charlotte
The day the police seized the package was the same day that Armstrong went to the post office in Charlotte to inquire about the package’s expected arrival.
A U.S. Postal Inspector who was present in the vicinity asked him for some more information about the package’s contents, prompting Armstrong to grow suspicious.
Armstrong then assaulted the Postal Inspector and attempted escape, only to be arrested just outside the post office.
Armstrong was placed on pretrial release with electronic monitoring after his arrest, only to once again attempt escape by removing the device.
In response, he was again arrested and placed in federal custody.
Charges and Sentencing
Armstrong pleaded guilty to the charges of drug trafficking in April 2018.
Court files show that he was buying the deadly opioid through the dark web using cryptocurrency on multiple platforms.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray stated in a news release that fighting the opioid abuse epidemic is a top priority for his office, adding that all drug traffickers—whether operating online or in-person—will be investigated and prosecuted.
David McGinnis, U.S. Postal Inspector in charge of the Charlotte Division, gave a testimony in which he said that the Postal Service had no intention of unknowingly perpetrating the trafficking of drugs and harmful substances.
He said that their aim is to maintain the integrity of the mail and provide a safe zone for the employees and the general public.
Armstrong was given a sentence of 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release.
The drug he distributed, U-47700, is a dangerous opioid on a parallel with heroin that has about seven times the potency of morphine.
Due to reports of a large number of deaths in multiple states, in November 2016 the DEA temporarily placed the drug into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
In 2018, the DEA ordered to maintain its spot on the Schedule I list long-term.