After pleading guilty to five criminal drug charges, a resident of Raleigh, North Carolina has been handed a sentencing of 78 months, or 6 and a half years, in federal prison.
The case began in July 2017 when agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration received a tip on the whereabouts of a person who was manufacturing and dealing drugs in Raleigh.
The DEA agents followed up on said tip and proceeded to launch a months-long investigation on the subject, Matthew Lee Yensen.
They found he had been manufacturing Xanax using a pill presser and selling his supply on darknet markets.
Last September, a search was conducted on the storage unit that was being used as Yensen’s manufacturing hub. Police found enough evidence to charge him with several drug charges.
To be specific, Yensen pleaded guilty to possession (with the intent to distribute) a controlled substance, distributing controlled substances via the internet (darknet markets), firearm possession in connection with drug trafficking, exchanging monetary transactions from unlawful activity, and international money laundering.
Yensen was originally just being charged with possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of Alprazolam and marijuana (two different counts, one for Alprazolam and one for marijuana), distribution of Alprazolam by means of the internet, and possession of firearms to further drug trafficking.
It wasn’t until further investigations that authorities found out that Yensen was guilty of more than they originally thought.
However, this guilty plea came months after the search warrant was put on Yensen. He had his house and his storage unit searched on September 12, 2017.
Yensen had used a fake South Carolina ID to rent out his storage unit. This didn’t matter, because the person who gave the tip provided the police with the necessary location.
In his storage unit alone, they found 80,000 dosage units of Xanax, and the ingredients to make 300,000 more. They found many of the tools that Yensen used to manufacture Xanax. This included an electronic pill counter, three industrial-sized pill pressers and two electronic mixers used for ingredients.
They also found somewhere between 200 and 300 postal shipping boxes. Some of these boxes contained Xanax pills.
He also had a computer in his storage unit. On this computer, the agents found that he was logged onto a dark web marketplace, which he used to distribute his product.
In Yensen’s house, the DEA agents found quite a lot more. The agents found $269,068/€227,492 in cash, and cryptocurrency, which was at the time worth $68,279.32/€57,785.13. It was something around 2.27 Bitcoin and 1,000 Litecoin.
The cryptocurrency was obtained using computer forensic tools. The Bitcoin and Litecoin obtained are both currently worth around $139,615/€118,032.
The authorities also found four firearms. These were an MP-5221r .22 caliber rifle, a Glock Model 27 .40 caliber pistol, a Smith and Wesson .357 revolver, and a Colt King Cobra .357 revolver. All of these firearms were loaded.
These firearms tie into the charge of “possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.”
They also found several vehicles in his property. Specifically, they found two jet skis, a 2014 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, and a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette.
The amount of money and expensive luxury items he owned shouldn’t come as a surprise. You can buy a lot when you’re able to sell hundreds of thousands of pills on an international market via the dark web.
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