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Suspected Darkweb Vendors Arrested on RICO Charges

They did the RICO, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

An extensive investigation led by law enforcement in Florida resulted in the arrest of two suspected darkweb vendors. The suspects allegedly produced counterfeit Xanax pills and distributed them to customers throughout the United States using a darkweb marketplace.

Benjamin Burdick and Catilynkyrie Burdick of Inverness, Florida, were arrested on an assortment of drug trafficking charges, drug possession charges, and a racketeering charge. According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), the suspects produced counterfeit Xanax pills and sold the pills on undisclosed darkweb marketplaces.

A picture of Law enforcement officers pose with items seized during the investigation | Citrus County Sheriff's Office

Law enforcement officers pose with items seized during the investigation | Citrus County Sheriff's Office

The investigation—which began last year—involved six branches of law enforcement at local and federal levels, including:

  • the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO);
  • the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
  • the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);
  • the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS);
  • and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

During the investigation, law enforcement conducted undercover transactions on a darkweb marketplace. According to a press release from the CCSO, investigators purchased counterfeit Xanax pills from the suspects’ vendor account on a darkweb market. Delivery of the pills resulted in a search warrant for the Burdick’s house in Inverness.

A picture of A picture of the suspects released by the Sheriff's Office

A picture of the suspects released by the Sheriff's Office

“Our joint investigation started in June of 2019,” remarked Sheriff Prendergast. “The successful outcome of this investigation is a prime example of the effective working relationships we have with our federal and local partners. Our office will continue to leverage these beneficial partnerships to further protect our citizens and rid our community of dangerous drug dealers such as these individuals.”

During execution of the search warrant, law enforcement officers located:

  • a pill press;
  • pill binder mixer;
  • USPS mail envelopes;
  • USPS shipping boxes;
  • an Accupost scale;
  • vacuum sealer and bags;
  • a bag containing 5 kilograms of pill binder;
  • a digital scale with several cups and bowls that contained a white powdery residue;
  • numerous Ziploc and vacuum-sealed bags containing counterfeit Xanax pills and white pills stamped with G7322;
  • 16,000 counterfeit Xanax pills (net. weight 15 lbs.) prepackage in various sizes and bags;
  • $143,095 in US currency;
  • several firearms.

A picture of A picture of items seized during a search of the Burdick's house

A picture of items seized during a search of the Burdick's house

Benjamin Burdick was arrested on the following charges:

  • possession of a controlled substance analog (Etizolam);
  • Possession and/or distribute an imitation controlled substance, to wit: Etizolam;
  • sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a counterfeit controlled substance, to wit: Xanax/Alprazolam.
  • distribute medical drugs through an internet pharmacy without a permit, to wit: Flualprazolam.
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: Cocaine;
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: Steroids;
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: THC wax;
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: Marijuana (over 20 grams);
  • possess any blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit, or unlawfully issued driver’s license or identification card;
  • sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance, to wit: did manufacture counterfeit Xanax in the home;
  • scheme to defraud and obtains property that has an aggregate value of $50,000.00 or more, to wit: used counterfeit driver license to rent USPS P.O. Box;
  • receive any proceeds derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity, to wit: racketeering activity is defined as crimes involving contraband adulterated or misbranded drugs, to wit: counterfeit Xanax;
  • possession with the intent to use, or did unlawfully use, an object intended or designed for use in storing, concealing or injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body, a controlled substance, to wit: bowls, strainers, pill press, baggies, packaging material, punches and die tools and scales.

Catilynkyrie Burdick, W/F (DOB 10/26/1990) was arrested on the following charges:

  • possession of a controlled substance analog, to wit: Etizolam;
  • possession and/or distribute an imitation controlled substance, to wit: Etizolam.
  • sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a counterfeit controlled substance, to wit: Xanax/Alprazolam.
  • distribute medical drugs through an internet pharmacy without a permit, to wit: Flualprazolam.
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: Cocaine.
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: THC wax.
  • possession of a controlled substance, to wit: Marijuana (over 20 grams).
  • sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance in a structure or conveyance where any child under 16 years of age is present, to wit: did manufacture counterfeit Xanax in the home.
  • scheme to defraud and obtains property that has an aggregate value of $50,000.00 or more, to wit: used counterfeit driver license to rent USPS P.O. Box.
  • receive any proceeds derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity, to wit: racketeering activity is defined as crimes involving contraband adulterated or misbranded drugs, to wit: counterfeit Xanax.
  • possession with the intent to use, or did unlawfully use, an object intended or designed for use in storing, concealing or injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body, a controlled substance, to wit: bowls, strainers, pill press, baggies, packaging material, punches and die tools and scales.

Both suspects are being held in the Citrus County Detention Facility without bond.