Darknet Vendor “Drugpharmacist” Sentenced Five Years

DrugPharmacist Darknet Takedown
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A 31-year-old Lancaster resident was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in a drug trafficking ring known as “Drugpharmacist,” which distributed drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and crack concealed within children’s stuffed animals. The vendors capture was part of “Operation DisrupTor,” an international law enforcement effort aimed at disrupting darknet operations. The operation, active on darknet marketplaces such as Wall Street Market and Dream, utilized various Los Angeles County post offices for shipment, with one particular dispatch leading to a fatal overdose in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Key Insights

  • Adan Sepulveda, aged 31, from Lancaster, has been sentenced to five years in prison.
  • Sepulveda was involved in the “Drugpharmacist” drug trafficking organization.
  • The drugs sold included cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and crack.
  • The operation used children’s stuffed animals to conceal the drugs for shipping.
  • The group operated on darknet marketplaces, specifically Wall Street Market and Dream.
  • Drugs were shipped from various post offices across Los Angeles County.
  • One shipment in August 2018 led to a fatal overdose in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • The organization also used stash houses in the San Fernando Valley to prepare drugs.
  • Sepulveda had pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
  • This comes as a result of 2020’s Operation DisrupTor.

One Lancaster resident by the name of  Adan Sepulveda 31, was recently sentenced to five years in prison for his ongoing involvement in a very well-planned drug trafficking ring that used children’s toys like stuffed animals to hide and ship illegal drugs, which included cocaine, and heroin, methamphetamine, and crack. 

This all went down in Downtown Los Angeles, where the sentencing happened in a federal court, where Sepulveda previously pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to sell and distribute methamphetamine, showing that this was not his first rodeo.

The case had gotten a lot of attention because of the very uncommon way of hiding the drugs, which began with charges filed in 2019 against Sepulveda and four other Lancaster residents on similar charges. They were members of the “Drugpharmacist” vendor group, which was a group that operated on darknet marketplaces like Wall Street Market and Dream to sell and distribute illegal substances and drugs. 

Inside the Drugpharmacist’s Operation

The “Drugpharmacist” organization made use of a variety of different post offices across Los Angeles County and planned to send out the drug-filled toys containing cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and crack to their potential buyers, a method that was detailed in Sepulveda’s plea agreement.

The investigation into the group revealed more about just their drug-related operations, including the use of stash houses in the San Fernando Valley to prep their drugs to be sent out. 

The repercussions of their activities were severe; one shipment of heroin in August 2018 led to a fatal overdose of an individual in Knoxville, Tennessee, which was confirmed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

There are real ongoing concerns about the reach and creativity of drug trafficking networks nowadays, particularly those making use of digital platforms like the dark web to get away with their illegal activities and hide from law enforcement. This is why we’re seeing more vendors removed than ever, as explained in our previous article.

Operation DisrupTor and JCODE’s Impact on “DrugPharmacist”

operation disruptor Darknet takedown

In February and March of 2020, the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team, as part of Operation DisrupTor, conducted a series of raids and searches across Los Angeles, revealing a significant darknet operation known as “DrugPharmacist.” This concerted effort was aimed at cracking down on drug trafficking activities that spanned across the United States and Europe, specifically targeting the distribution networks exploiting the darknet’s anonymity. The searches conducted by the JCODE team—which includes the FBI, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)—uncovered over 220 pounds of methamphetamine, thousands of pills, firearms, large sums of U.S. currency, and extensive drug packaging apparatuses ready for dispatch from unassuming locations like a modest house in Sunland, California.

This operation was a key part of a larger international crackdown, which resulted in the arrests of 179 individuals and the seizure of over 500 kilograms of illegal drugs internationally. The Los Angeles raids were crucial in dismantling the “DrugPharmacist” network, a major vendor on the darknet that utilized sophisticated methods to conceal their operations behind the facade of a mail-order business. The evidence gathered from these raids linked the DrugPharmacist operations to several fatal overdoses and extensive drug distribution across the U.S. Adan Sepulveda, associated with this network, was among those captured and subsequently sentenced to five years in prison, showcasing the operation’s effectiveness in penetrating deep into these covert networks.