San Diego Darknet Vendor Pleads Guilty to Selling Opioids on Multiple Markets

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Opioid epidemic, drug abuse concept with closeup on two heroin syringes or other narcotics surrounded by scattered prescription opioids. Oxycodone is the generic name for a range of opioid painkillers
Examining the recent case of a San Diego drug vendor who bought and sold synthetic opioids on the dark web.

Another day, another guilty plea involving the dark web in the United States. Sky Justin Gornik will face at least a decade up to life behind bars in a federal penitentiary after pleading guilty following convictions for drug dealing and laundering proceeds from a crime.

Gornik set up vendor accounts to sell drugs on dark web marketplaces AlphaBay, Trade Route, Abraxas, Evolution, Outlaw Market and Dream Market. This is a case regarding a drug dealer who chose the dark web as their business foundation. It is a case that is likely to guide many other judges as they decide on sentencing those caught. Precedent is being set.

As this was a federal case, and it’s likely that the investigation and subsequent prosecution was as a result of the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ big push this year to hit drug dealers that use the dark web.

About the Case

According to court records [PDF], federal investigators searched Gornik’s home and found 1.7 grams of Carfentanil, a potent synthetic opioid, to the volume of 86,000 fatal doses worth.

Gornik admitted he purchased the illicit substances using resources on the dark web, then reselling through the usual marketplaces, having set up and run multiple vendor accounts.

It is unquestionable that the “86,000 fatal doses worth” figure was used by the prosecution team to drill home the continued rhetoric in its never ending “War on Drugs.”

Your TOR usage is being watched
Tablet with the text Opioid epidemic on the display
Another day, another guilty plea involving the dark web in the United States.

The opioid crisis is often targeted towards those using illicit substances, and stories such as this one fuel the fire directly.

But the reality is that an 86,000 fatal dose might equate to 100,000 therapeutic doses (as an example and for illustrative purposes only). There is little factual purpose for using such language other than to elicit shock.

Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more potent than its natural analogue, fentanyl. In a Department of Justice press release, U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman stated that “a speck of carfentanil the size of a grain of sand” is enough to kill the person using the drug.

Synthetic drugs that mimic that of their analogue parents have swept across Australia, the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Chinese vendors openly sell carfentanil online and export worldwide.

It is a cat and mouse game with border watchers and health regulators, as even the slightest chemical differences can make dangerous drugs that don’t fit into regulation. Carfentanil is only one of multiple versions of the opiate fentanyl.

U.S. Justice System & the Dark Web

The U.S. justice system is not tipped in the balance of those that are within the sights of any political agendas.

Ross Ulbricht, founder of the infamous Silk Road darknet market, discovered this the hard way years back and continues to suffer as a result, as we discovered from an interview with his mom last month.

Gornik committed serious crimes and by no means is he an innocent person, but politics should never be mixed with law: that is the reason we in western democracies have the separation of powers in government. Yet, it seems that the book is always thrown at anyone facing charges relating to anything “dark web.”

There is a serious fear issue with the people at the top. A fear in what they don’t understand. It’s a core reason incredibly strict sentences are laid on the people caught.

Experian recently ran a full advertising campaign scaring people into forking over their information.

It’s without doubt that each and every case regarding a drug dealer that uses the dark web as their medium is targeted by prosecution teams with pressure from above. Pressure to act tough and forward the State agenda would be substantial.

As par of his guilty plea, Gornik agreed to forfeit millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies earned through his drug sales. It is clear he was caught red-handed and he has rolled over for the prosecutors. It’s said that he forfeited 69 Bitcoins, among additional alt-coins.

His sentencing comes in June 2018. We’ll keep you updated.



Con's education background is law, where he's published on crypto-currency regulation. His opinion editorials range across the relationships between people and technology and the societal challenges it presents. His passion is for information security and the intertwining legal issues
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The articles and content found on Dark Web News are for general information purposes only and are not intended to solicit illegal activity or constitute legal advice. Using drugs is harmful to your health and can cause serious problems including death and imprisonment, and any treatment should not be undertaken without medical supervision.


  1. Anonymous

    Drug prohibition by law has caused more innocent people to be murdered and been more costly to taxpayers than all the negative effects possible from leaving recreational drug use alone. Even without education about recreational drug use, harm would have been a tiny fraction of making them illegal. Those who benefit, such as organized crime/drug cartels, law enforcement budgets and politicians who have exploited the ignorance and fear of the rest of the people of the world continue to perpetrate this “drug war” SCAM on the people. A few countries such as Portugal have recovered their senses and rescinded drug laws. Their success goes largely unacknowledged and unpublicized. We will look back on these times with the same attitude as we have now about the burning of witches.


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