Joseph Benner is the third family member to be arrested on charges of distributing Xanax pills which were alleged to have been bought from the dark web.
The police apprehended him after the arrest of his younger brother and mother on similar drug charges.
Erika Benner, former high-ranking Delaware state employee, was charged with buying a supply of Xanax from her juvenile son, who is 16 years old.
According to police reports, the family was involved in the business for an extended period of time—leading to the dispersed sale of drugs in their Massachusetts neighbourhood.
Joseph Benner Used Dark Web to Buy Drugs
The suspect, Joseph Benner, is believed to be well-connected with his supplier through the darknet market where he received over 200 Xanax pills per month. It is thought that he received the tablets from Canada through the postal services to his home.
In their investigation, the police thoroughly searched his basement bedroom which was suspected to be his area of distribution. This search gave the law enforcement officers concrete evidence to present a case against Benner in a court of law.
Officers were able to discover that Benner had in his basement three bottles of cough syrup, codeine and promethazine. They also found a ledger of various types of drugs, including Xanax, with their specific dates of sales.
The search also returned an iPhone, a Mac computer, a digital scale, a USB drive and an antenna. In the room, there were hundreds of paper envelopes which were supposedly used to pack and distribute the Xanax pills.
When the police searched Benner’s bedroom and that of his younger brother, they found 100 Xanax pills, $485 in cash, THC oil cartridges and a jar of marijuana.
Investigation into Benner Family’s Activities
On further investigation, the police were able to unravel the details behind this family drug operation using dark web markets.
According to the police, Joseph Benner is believed to be in charge of drug purchases, record-keeping and managing finances. On the other case, his brother was responsible for street sales and transactions, hence creating a robust drug operation in the neighborhood.
The police officers seized a total of $14,905 from the two young brothers, aged 16 and 20. Since neither of them was employed, this raised the question of how they received such a significant amount of cash.
This prompted the police officers to charge Benner with the possession of Class D and Class E drugs in a federal court. He was presented to Judge Stephen Abany at the Haverhill District Court where he was given a bail of around $10,000.
During the hearing, Judge Abany requested Benner’s grandmother to keep a close eye on him during the time they were to stay together. This was a precaution to her as it was feared Benner had been abusing drugs and there were high chances of suicide.
According to what the police told the judge in the court hearing, Joseph Benner had been meeting vehicles in different locations for very short periods of time.
To officers, this was a clear revelation that the two brothers were directly involved in a lucrative business which was more likely to be illegal.
It on February 22 when police charged the mother of the two suspects, former Delaware deputy state treasurer Erika Benner. She was arrested for the possession of Xanax pills which were thought to be supplied by her son.
Erika Benner, 45, was quoted admitting to the act of buying drugs from her 16-year-old son, a move which saw the judge order she be held in the police custody without any bail and enrolled in a drug detox program for a month.
Meanwhile, the 16-year-old brother to Joseph Benner was charged in Lawrence Juvenile Court where he was convicted. He was charged with the possession of codeine and promethazine.
Other Suspects in the Case
The police were able to conduct a further investigation which led to the arrest of more people who were thought to be connected. This included a co-defendant, 20-year-old Jake Kavanaugh, who was caught with THC oil and alprazolam.
Kavanaugh was held in the police custody on a cash bail of approximately $2,500 as a punishment. He was also under surveillance to see him not use any drug in the period of his hearing.
Also in the list of arrests in this case was Raymond Maczuba, a 79-year-old man who was charged with the possession of an illegal firearm. He was arraigned in court, and the judge scheduled his case on a later date.
During the hearing of his case, Maczuba’s team of lawyers argued that he had no connection with the arrested drug dealers thought they were from the same region.
The three family members—Erika Benner and her two sons—will remain on the watch list and surveillance of the police. Joseph Benner faces a jail term as the case is backed by the evidence collected by the police against him.
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