Man Sentenced for Leading a Drug Trafficking Operation from Prison

~2 min read | Published on 2023-12-16, tagged BitcoinMoney-LaunderingSentenced using 350 words.

An Idaho man was sentenced to 188 months in prison for leading a conspiracy to resell drugs purchased online and laundering the proceeds.


From October 2019 to March 2021, Michael Robert Osborn, 39, led a drug trafficking operation that imported and distributed large quantities of a-PHP. Osborn and his co-defendants used Bitcoin to purchase the a-PHP from a vendor based in Spain and had it mailed to addresses under their control.
Osborn and one of his co-defendants, Troy Thomas Wheeler, 48, were incarcerated and used contraband phones to communicate with the other members of the drug trafficking operation.
After purchasing the drugs, Osborn had them mailed to a UPS mailbox rented by his accomplice, 44-year-old Angela Marie Klinkhamer. Investigators intercepted six drug packages destined for the mailbox. The interceptions resulted in the seizure of more than 3.3 kilograms of a-PHP.
Drugs not shipped to the mailbox were sent to the residence of Osborn’s mother, 66-year-old Laura Russell. The investigators seized eight drug packages destined for Russell's residence. The packages contained a total of over 2.2 kilograms of a-PHP.
After overseeing the sale of the drugs, Russell would collect the proceeds, purchase bitcoin, and deposit it into wallets under Osborn’s control. Russell also deposited a portion of the money into Osborn’s credit union account. Between November 2019 and January 2021, she deposited over $100,000 into the account.
A search of Osborn’s prison cell resulted in the discovery of the seed phrase of the cryptocurrency wallet under his control. LE seized 7.83777 Bitcoin from the wallet.
Osborn pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Osborn’s prison sentence will be followed by three months of supervised release. He was also ordered to forfeit the bitcoin seized from his possession.
Wheeler was sentenced to 86 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release on September 11, 2023. Klinkhamer was sentenced on March 16, 2023, to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Osborn’s mother was sentenced on June 22, 2023, to 40 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release.