A federal judge sentenced an Irvine, California, darkweb vendor known as Platinum45 to 10 years in federal prison for one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of distribution of methamphetamine.
United States District Judge James V. Selna, on June 11, sentenced Tyler Reeves, 29, for crimes committed under the username he had been using on Wallstreet Market: Platinum45. Reeves, as Platinum45, sold methamphetamine, adderall, oxycodone pills, and other substances through Wallstreet Market before federal investigators shut down the market in early May.
United States authorities announced the Platinum45 arrest alongside the seizure of Wallstreet Market, the arrests of the market’s admins and staff members, and two other vendors. Ladyskywalker, another Los Angelos based vendor, was mentioned in the same criminal complaint as well.
In March, Reeves admitted only money laundering and methamphetamine distribution in a plea deal accepted by a federal judge. Although the prison sentence seems lengthy, the accepted guilty plea was fairly lenient when looking at all the evidence law enforcment had gathered in the Platinum45 case:
On September 20, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at defendant’s residence. At his residence, [Reeves] possessed not only illegal controlled substances, such as methamphetamine and oxycodone (prescribed to defendant), but he also possessed 13 un-serialized firearms, and 14 un-serialized silencers, which are used to suppress the sound of a gunshot,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Defendant purchased the parts for these firearms online and manufactured these silencers and firearms. In addition to the drugs and firearms, defendant possessed extensive computing equipment, a Trezor hardware wallet (used for storing cryptocurrency), and gold and silver bars.
Unserialized firearms are not illegal. Possessing firearms while committing a drug trafficking crime is a serious crime, however. Unserialized silencers are by default illegal to own.
Platinum45 was one of Wallstreet Market’s most prolific vendors. He had more than 300 unique customers and had listings for up to one kilogram of methamphetamine. Undercover law enforcement officers conducted six controlled purchases from the vendor. One of those transactions that provided evidence for the methamphetamine distrubtuion charge was for two ounces of methamphetamine, clocking in at $2,230 in cryptocurrency.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Selna ordered Reeves pay a fine of $15,000.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service investigated the case.
The Criminal Complaint
The following is from the section concerning Platonim45 in the criminal complaint filed after the Wallstreet Market seizure.
I (the DEA Agent) have participated and spoken with colleagues with DEA Los Angeles Field Office (Riverside), who arrested the individual responsible for operating the moniker “Platinum45.” I am aware of the following based on my experience in the investigation and through conversations with DEA agents leading this investigation:
a. “Platinum45” operated on at least two darknet marketplaces, including WSM, and advertised and sold contraband on WSM such as methamphetamine, adderall, and oxycodone to customers around the world, including to Germany and Australia. “Platinum45” obtained prescription drugs from illegal prescriptions, pressed his/her own Adderall, and obtained methamphetamine from sources of supply in Southern California. “Platinum45” had advertised to sell up to 1,000 grams of methamphetamine on WSM.
b. After receiving orders on WSM, accessed in the Central District of California, “Platinum45” would mail controlled substances by U.S. mail, using fictitious return mailing addresses and in methods to avoid law enforcement detection. c.WSM retained commissions for sales that “Platinum45” made on WSM.