Empire Market Drugs Vendor "Norco King" Imprisoned

~2 min read | Published on 2023-06-03, tagged Darkweb-VendorOpioidsSentenced using 470 words.

A California man was sentenced to 78 months in prison after he was found guilty of being behind the distribution of large quantities of pharmaceuticals and other drugs through multiple dark web vendor accounts.

According to court documents, 27-year-old Nicolas A. Decosta oversaw the distribution of a wide variety of drugs including, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and counterfeit Oxycodone pills. He received orders from buyers through the vendor accounts, "norcoking", "kingofscripts", and "norco_king" on dark web markets such as White House and Empire Market.
Investigators came across the norco_king vendor account on Empire Market in late 2019. The investigators made multiple purchases of Oxycodone from norco_king through Empire Market and a Proton Mail email address. The investigators found the fingerprints of Decosta's co-defendant, Jamal D. Holdman on one of the drug packages.
Surveillance footage acquired from the post offices used to mail the drug packages confirmed that Holdman had been shipping the drugs. The investigators later acquired a search warrant for a package mailed by Holdman at one of the post offices and found that it contained hydrocodone and morphine.
In January 2021, the investigators went to the home of a suspected buyer after intercepting a drug package addressed to the suspect. The investigators had found Holdman's fingerprints on the package. On being questioned, the suspect confirmed that he had ordered the drugs from Norco_king on Empire Market.
The investigators executed a search warrant at Holdman's residence on June 21, 2021. The search resulted in the seizure of 21,000 pills including, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Lisdexamfetamine, Lorazepam, and Alprazolam. In addition, the investigators found 420 counterfeit Oxycodone pills that tested positive for fentanyl. The investigators also seized drug packaging material and two firearms.
On being questioned, Holdman told the investigators that he was in charge of packaging and mailing drugs sold through dark web markets by Decosta. He said that after Decosta received the orders he would provide him with the order details for him to fulfill the orders. The investigators found a list of order details complete with names and mailing addresses that Holdman had received from Decosta on June 20.
Holdman also gave the investigators access to his phone. Communications between Decosta and Holdman through Signal confirmed Holdman's confession. The investigators allegedly found a message from Decosta to Holdman that had the order information of an order that an undercover agent had placed on June 20.
The investigators went to Decosta's residence on the same day and arrested him after confirming that he was the one using the number that had been sending Holdman the order information.
In addition to the six years and six months imprisonment, United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher handed Decosta three years of supervised release.
Decosta's accomplice, Holdman was sentenced to five years and six months in prison on April 12, 2023. Holdman's prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.