Alprazolam SweeTarts Vendor "PartyCrew" Sentenced

~2 min read | Published on 2023-12-05, tagged Darkweb-VendorSentenced using 388 words.

A Colorado man was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison for leading a dark web drug trafficking operation.

Joshua Cook, 27, distributed Xanax SweetTarts , MDMA, Shrooms, and Amphetamine Sulfates through the "PartCrew" vendor profile on White House Market from August 2020 through June 2022.
Cook was in charge of receiving orders via the vendor account and Proton Mail addresses. His accomplices, Haleigh and Benjamin Flanigan, packaged and mailed the drugs to their buyers.
Cook's drug trafficking operation was discovered in May 2021 after FBI investigators received an anonymous tip regarding Haleigh Flanigan. The tip said that Haleigh Flanigan was selling drugs out of a warehouse on behalf of a person named "Josh".
Surveillance of Haleigh revealed that on August 11, 2021, she went to a post office and dropped off 22 packages. The investigators seized one of the packages and questioned its recipient. The recipient reportedly disclosed that he had purchased the drugs on the dark web from PartCrew. The package contained SweeTarts that tested positive for flualprazolam.
The investigators made four undercover purchases from PartCrew via Proton Mail addresses and paid via bitcoin and Monero to addresses provided by the vendor. Tracking the bitcoin led the investigators to Coinbase accounts registered to the Flanigans.
The investigators also acquired search warrants for the Flanigans' iCloud accounts. Messages backed up in the iCloud accounts revealed that Cook and the couple had been involved in the drug trafficking operation since at least 2019.
The investigators established that there had been movement of packages to and from Cook's residence in Denver and the Flanigans' residence in Lexington. On June 14, 2022, the investigators intercepted a package mailed from Lexington to Cook’s residence. On opening the package the investigators found SweeTart candies in a plastic Kroger shopping bag. Tests showed that the SweeTarts had no drugs.
The investigators searched the Flanigans' apartment and vehicle on the same day. The investigators found suspected drugs, and packaging and shipping material. They also found a USPS envelope with Cook's name and address as the return address.
Cook and the Flanigans pled guilty to conspiracy to commit drug distribution and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Benjamin Flanigan was sentenced to 18 months in prison while his wife was imprisoned for 48 months in June 2023.
Cook's prison sentence of eight years and four months will be followed by three years of supervised release.