Two men from Sacramento, California, were indicted in an eleven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on October 11. According to the indictment, both men sold cocaine and marijuana on Dream Market.
A federal grand jury returned an eleven-count indictment today against Eddy Steven Sandoval Lopez, 22, and Deshari Saivohn Frederick, 21, both of Sacramento, charging them with distributing controlled substances, conspiracy, and use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Sandoval Lopez and Frederick sold cocaine and marijuana to customers throughout the country under the vendor names “CokeWave,” “SafeDealsDirect,” and “HerbanFarmer” on Dream Market, a dark-web marketplace. Agents conducted numerous undercover purchases of cocaine and marijuana from these vendor accounts. Physical surveillance and postal records revealed that Sandoval Lopez and Frederick were responsible for packaging and mailing these parcels. Agents searched the defendants’ residences on October 2, 2018, and found bulk marijuana, packaged cocaine, and a stolen Ruger handgun.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (“NCIDE”) Task Force, consisting of agents from Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The NCIDE Task Force is a joint, federal task force focused on targeting all forms of dark-web and cryptocurrency criminal activity in the Eastern District of California. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Paul A. Hemesath are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought in conjunction with the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) Team. Established within the FBI’s Hi-Tech Organized Crime Unit, J-CODE is a U.S. Government initiative announced in January 2018, aimed at targeting drug trafficking, especially fentanyl and other opioids, on the Darknet. Building on the work initiated with the takedowns of Silk Road and AlphaBay, the FBI’s J-CODE team brings together agents, analysts, and professional staff with expertise in drugs, gangs, health care fraud, and more, and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners from across the U.S. Government, to focus on disrupting the sale of drugs via the Darknet and dismantling criminal enterprises that facilitate this trafficking.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for drug distribution. Frederick also faces a five-year consecutive sentence and a $250,000 fine for possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.