Press Release: Dream Vendor "Darkking22" Admits Fentanyl Distribution


A darkweb fentanyl and fentanyl analogue vendor from Euclid, Ohio, pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl on the Dream darkweb marketplace under the pseudonym “Darkking22.”

He sold fentanyl, lofentanil, and “Molly,” according to his plea agreement. Antoin Austin, 28, was one of the first darkweb vendors with an arrest and now conviction attributed to the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE), U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania told the press in both the arrest and plea agreement announcements.

The Busted Darknet Vendor List: Darkking22

About Darkking22

U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Pennsylvania Plea Announcement

A Euclid, Ohio, man pleaded guilty to distribution of fentanyl that he ordered from China and sold domestically, including to an undercover FBI agent in Pittsburgh, U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman of the Northern District of Ohio and U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania announced today.

Antoin Austin, 28, is scheduled be sentenced Nov. 5.

Austin used the online moniker “Darkking22” on the dark web. Darkking22 advertised some of the following items for sale this year: “Fentanyl Pure HCL, Methozymethylfentanyl ‘30490’, molly, pure lofentanil, and MMAF New Product.” Methozymethylfentanyl, pure lofentanil, and MMAF New Product are known to be various types of fentanyl analogues, according to court documents.

Undercover law enforcement agents made multiple purchases of opioids from Darkking22 on the Dark Web in 2018. The purchases were made using bitcoins and the shipments indicated the letters carrying the drugs originated in the Cleveland area. The initial undercover purchase from Austin occurred in March of 2018 when undercover FBI special agents based in the Western District of Pennsylvania purchased and received cyclopropyl fentanyl, a Schedule I controlled substance, from Austin.

According to court documents, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspectors tracked the March shipment of fentanyl from Darkking22 to the U.S. Post Office in Wickliffe, Ohio. They observed Austin travel from his home in Euclid to the Wickliffe Post Office, where he attempted to mail packages using false return addresses. These packages were intercepted by agents and were found to contain fentanyl consistent with the undercover purchases. In October 2017, law enforcement also seized a package shipped from a known Chinese fentanyl distributor to Austin which contained 10 grams of fentanyl.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Pennsylvania charged Austin by Information with distribution of fentanyl in July 2018 and that case was transferred to the Northern District of Ohio and consolidated with the Ohio distribution case for purposes of Austin’s guilty plea and upcoming sentencing.

“This defendant ordered thousands of deadly doses of fentanyl from China, brought it to a residential neighborhood in Euclid and then mailed the dangerous drugs all over Ohio and across the country,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Drug traffickers like this have enriched themselves while causing so much pain in our community.”

“Darkking22 is one of the first defendants in the country to be investigated, charged and convicted since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) initiative in Pittsburgh earlier this year,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “Through our office’s expertise in opioids and cybercrime, we are disrupting illegal opioid sales on the Darknet by dismantling these marketplaces and criminal enterprises.”

“Online drug trafficking takes the risk out of dealing drugs face to face,” said FBI-Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones. “But we want to send a clear message to those buying and selling drugs on the Darknet. You are not anonymous and we will find you. Shutting down this on-line illegal activity is a coordinated effort and all of our law enforcement partners are committed to stopping the opioid epidemic.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service as part of the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) initiative aimed at targeting drug trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids on the Darknet. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cronin of the Northern District of Ohio and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

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U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Pennsylvania Arrest Announcement

A Euclid man was arrested and charged in federal court after ordering shipments of suspected fentanyl and several other opioid analogues from China and selling the drugs domestically.

Antoin Austin, 28, was charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

According to an affidavit filed in the case:

Austin used the online moniker “Darkking22” on the Dark Web. As of this month, Darkking22 advertised some of the following items for sale: “Fentanyl Pure HCL, Methozymethylfentanyl ‘30490’, molly, pure lofentanil, and MMAF New Product.” Methozymethylfentanyl, pure lofentanil, and MMAF New Product are known to be various types of fentanyl analogues.

Undercover law enforcement agents made multiple purchases of opioids from Darkking22 on the Dark Web in 2018. The purchases were made using bitcoins and the shipments indicated the letters carrying the drugs originated in the Cleveland area.

Law enforcement this month tracked the shipment of a drug package sent by Darkking22 to the Wickliffe Post Office on Lloyd Road. Surveillance groups this week observed Austin travel from his home in Euclid to the Wickliffe Post Office, where he attempted to mail packages using false return addresses.

Law enforcement in October 2017 seized a package being shipped to Austin from a known Chinese fentanyl distributor. The parcel was opened and found to contain 10 grams of fentanyl.

“This defendant ordered thousands of deadly doses of fentanyl from China, brought it to a residential neighborhood in Euclid and then mailed the dangerous drugs all over Ohio and across the country,” U.S. Attorney Herdman said. “Drug traffickers like this have enriched themselves while causing so much pain in our community.”

Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato said: “Opioids have killed thousands of our friends and neighbors. The FBI will continue to work with all our partners to reduce the supply of these deadly drugs.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cronin.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

A charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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