A man from Alexandria, Virginia, admitted selling methamphetamine through vendor accounts on Empire Market and Cryptonia market.
In a federal court in Virginia, Dat Nguyen admitted conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Specifically, through the vendor account “addy4cheap,” Nguyen sold thousands of pressed Adderall pills containing methamphetamine instead of amphetamine.
Nguyen started selling on the darkweb in May 2019, according to an announcement from the United States Office of Attorneys for the Eastern District of Virginia. Three months later, undercover investigators started making controlled purchases of Adderall from the vendor account used by Nguyen. Between August 2019 and December 2019, law enforcement conducted a total of 20 controlled purchases from addy4cheap on Empire and Cryptonia. In total, the investigators purchased more than 767 grams of methamphetamine.
According to a court document detailing the extent of the methamphetamine trafficking operation:
To avoid detection, the defendant’s co-conspirators mailed drug parcels that did not have their true names and addresses listed as the return information, deposited those parcels at various United States Parcel Service (“U.S.P.S.") collection boxes in the Eastern District of Virginia, handled packages in a manner to avoid leaving fingerprints, and operated in the late evening or early morning hours. Packages mailed by the defendant’s co-conspirators resembled those obtained through controlled purchases made by law enforcement through “addy4cheap.”
In December 2019, law enforcement searched the houses of others involved in the drug trafficking operation, including the houses of Lien Kim Thi Phan, Tyler Pham, and Hon Lam Luk. During the searches, law enforcement seized more than 6,000 counterfeit Adderall pills that resembled those advertised by addy4cheap.
As of December 10, 2019, addy4cheap had completed 3,665 sales on Empire Market and received 2,568 reviews. Investigators calculated that addy4cheap had distributed 44,872 pills for approximately $482,572.10.
Five co-conspirators have already entered guilty pleas in connection with the drug trafficking conspiracy. One is still a fugitive from the law. Nguyen faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 23, 2021. Court documents accessible by the public do not reveal the tactics used by law enforcement in the investigation outside of the controlled purchases mentioned in the press release.