A man from Mesick, Michigan, was charged for purchasing ecstasy from a vendor on the darkweb with the intent to distribute it locally.
Donald Edward Fazenbaker stood mute and had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf to charges of conspiracy to deliver ecstasy and attempted possession of ecstasy for his connection with incidents occurring on or between the dates of Jan. 18-Feb. 1 in Antioch Township. If convicted, Fazenbaker faces up to 20 years in prison and/or fines as high as $35,000.
The charges are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt. Fazenbaker is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A personal recognizance bond was continued.
According to a Michigan State Police press release, the Traverse Narcotics Team conducted the joint operation with the Cadillac MSP Post, Homeland Security Investigations, and Customs and Border Protection.
Customs and Border Protection at the Chicago International Mail Branch had seized 51 tablets (23 grams) of ecstasy at the Chicago O’Hare International airport. The ecstasy entered the U.S. from the Netherlands and was destined for Mesick, according to the press release.
Homeland Security was contacted and the case was worked jointly with TNT to identify the suspect and investigate further. The investigation revealed multiple shipments and seizures of ecstasy involving the suspect over the span of three years.
TNT was granted a search warrant for the suspect’s home, and it was executed on Feb. 12. During the search, several documents, electronic devices and firearms were seized from the location. Evidence at the scene indicated Dark Web activity and potential use of cryptocurrencies to order the ecstasy from overseas into the United States.
At the time of his arrest and arraignment last month in 84th District Court, TNT and Homeland Security Investigations issued this message of caution to would-be drug purchasers: “Ordering unregulated substances from unknown overseas companies is both dangerous and illegal. Law enforcement is actively working to interdict packages as they enter the United States, and will seek charges on anyone participating in this criminal activity.‘