Their "storefront" operated on the dark web, but their undoing was a bunch of New York City ATMs, say prosecutors. Three New Jersey men have been charged in what prosecutors describe as a $2.3 million pill operation that sold counterfeit Xanax and other drugs to customers in 43 states. "When our office received reports of suspicious activity at ATMs in New York and New Jersey, our talented investigators followed the money" and uncovered the scheme, said District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Tuesday. Authorities allege Chester Anderson, 44; Jarrette Codd, 41; and Ronald MacCarty, 51; sold drugs through a dark web shopping site called "Dream Market," which NJ.com describes as something that resembles Amazon, "except you need a Tor browser to get there, and cryptocurrency to pay with." More:
- Investigators went undercover and used cryptocurrency to buy about 10,000 pills, then obtained search warrants for the men's homes and cars. They say their searches turned up at least 420,000 fake Xanax tablets, some kept in big orange buckets, plus fentanyl-laced heroin, meth, ketamine, the date-rape drug GHB, and more. Prosecutors estimate the street value of the counterfeit Xanax is $3 million.
- They're calling it a historic bust: the biggest pill seizure ever in New Jersey, and the first time New York prosecutors have dismantled a dark web storefront.