Press Release: Dream Vendor "TheDrugLlama" Caught in California
In a press release for the Southern District of Illinois, the U.S. Attorney announced the arrest of a California woman who had allegedly operated a Dream marketplace vendor account.
A San Diego resident has been indicted in the Southern District of Illinois for conspiring to distribute fentanyl throughout the United States via the “dark web,” U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft announced today. The charges carry a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence.
The indictment alleges that Melissa Scanlan, 31, of San Diego, California, who is known on the dark web as “The Drug Llama,” conspired to distribute misbranded fentanyl pills throughout the United States. Fentanyl is a highly addictive and oftentimes lethal opioid painkiller. According to the indictment, the fentanyl distribution conspiracy lasted from at least October 1, 2016, and continued until August 2, 2018. The indictment also alleges that Scanlan was part of an international money laundering conspiracy.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, that charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Scanlan was arrested in San Diego and made her first court appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on September 6, 2018. At her detention hearing on Monday, September 17, 2018, prosecutors alleged that Scanlan was responsible for shipping over 50,000 fentanyl pills across the country, including into southern Illinois. Scanlan was ordered detained based on risk of flight and danger to the community pending her removal to the Southern District of Illinois to face charges.
The dark web is a part of the internet that is unreachable by traditional search engines and web browsers. Websites on the dark web have complex web addresses generated by a computer algorithm and must be accessed using special software that is capable of connecting to “The Onion Router” network, or “TOR” for short. The TOR network is encrypted and routes internet traffic dynamically through a series of computers around the world, concealing the true Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers accessing the network and thereby making internet use virtually anonymous. This perceived anonymity has led to a proliferation of criminal activity on dark web
marketplaces, like “Dream Market,” where users can find vendors offering illegal goods and services for sale.
The indictment against Scanlan alleges that she conspired with others to operate an illegal drug distribution business on one of those dark web marketplaces using the moniker “The Drug Llama.” It is further alleged that Scanlan and her co-conspirators distributed more than 400 grams of fentanyl throughout the United States.
This case was part of a months-long, coordinated national operation involving the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security (HSI), United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB), the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois.
“The dark web is a dangerous underworld where anonymous web browsers and cryptocurrencies combine to create the perfect breeding ground for criminal activity,” said United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft. “We will continue to shine light into the dark web to expose those who lurk in the shadows of the internet.” Weinhoeft credited the leadership of the Federal Drug Administration for dedicating technical resources to further this important opioid investigation.
“The dark web is a virtual marketplace for drug dealers and other criminals who are seeking the anonymity that only the digital world can provide,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman for the Southern District of California. “But there’s nowhere we won’t go to find them, particularly when fentanyl is involved and lives are at stake. The key to success is relentless pursuit and collaboration with our law enforcement partners around the country.”
“Illegal opioid distribution and the resulting overdoses and deaths are an enormous national crisis,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Our agency will continue to disrupt and dismantle illegal prescription drug distribution networks that misuse the internet at the expense of public health and safety.”
“The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with our local, state and federal partners will continue to work relentlessly to track down those who traffic in pharmaceutical narcotics illegally,” said Special Agent in Charge William J. Callahan of the DEA St. Louis Division. “Pharmaceutical narcotics are meant to be taken under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional and are not safe outside of that medical relationship. As a community we must work together to educate and prevent the misuse and abuse of pharmaceutical narcotics and as a law enforcement agency we will continue to track down traffickers who believe they can hide behind anonymity on the dark web.”
U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft recognized the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, FDA, DEA, HSI, CPB, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other state and federal partners for their work in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Derek J. Wiseman.
Department of Justice Announcement: link.
Facebook: Melissa Scanlan
LinkedIn: Melissa Scanlan – where she once worked at the pharmaceutical company IriSy:
-Ordered raw materials
-Managed overhead costs and reduced costs by 62% over 2 years
-Maintained customer relationships
- Prepared project cost analysis
- Hiring of manufacturing associates
Quora: Melissa Scanlan where she answered “How to to get Adderall?” with:
Darknet most people have heard of Silk Road and if you’re not turned off by the prison sentence handed down to the founder of Silk Road or the idea of possibly buying Adderall from wherever this is the safest option but again getting drugs illegally is unsafe period. The way the Darknet Markets work is it’s allegedly anonymous and secure as far as protecting your identity by having you only able to access these marketplaces such as Alpha Bay, Nucleus, and Agora is via a secure VPN such as the Tor browser and you will need to obtain a link to the particular marketplace you are wishing to buy I highly reccomend you do your research using tools such as Reddit Darknet • /r/darknet or reading guides such as AlphaBay Market Guide prior to even considering moving forward. Once you obtain your VPN via Tor and get the link you will have access to a Pandora’s Box of black market dealings from drugs to guns and everything in between that uses the anonymous currency Bitcoin. These marketplaces let you review seller ratings and reviews from other buyers before you purchase. Sounds easy right? It is! But chances are when something is too easy there are consequences for cutting corners. I have never used the Darknet but am familiar because I use Reddit and for work reasons I try to stay informed on Ecommerce including areas that are not related to me. The risks that stand out to me right away: Buying drugs you do not have an RX for is illegal if your package gets caught by usps or any other logistics services I would think they would report it to law enforcement and or put you on some watch list like with the DEA, Mail Crimes are pretty serious should the governement want to prosecute, and most troubling is you dont know what your buying is legitimate or counterfit a good example of counterfit drugs going bad is the Norco in San Jose recently killing people because it was actually Fentanyl made to look like 10mg Norco.