Two men – one from Texas and the other from California – could face life in prison after being charged with allegedly using the dark web and encrypted messaging apps to sell more than 120,000 fake tablets. oxycodone containing fentanyl.
Rajiv Srinivasan, 37, of Houston, Texas, and Michael Ta, 24, of Westminster, Calif., were charged in a 19-count indictment with “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine,” the judge said. the ministry said in a news release on Friday.
Srinivasan allegedly sold the drugs on “Darkode”, a dark web forum notoriously used for cybercrime, as well as other dark web sites. He advertised and sold counterfeit oxycodone M30 pills containing fentanyl on these forums.
He also reportedly uses the encrypted messaging app Wickr to talk and sell drugs to thousands of customers across the country. Srinivasan reportedly received virtual currency as payment before routing that virtual currency through cryptocurrency exchanges.
The indictment alleges that between May and November, the two men sold 123,188 fentanyl tablets, more than 143 kilograms of methamphetamine, as well as smaller amounts of fentanyl powder, black tar heroin and of cocaine.
And between February and November, they sold over 7,000 pills to an undercover agent they believed to be a drug user.
According to the indictment, Ta spoke with Srinivasan about drug orders, obtained pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine, stored the drugs at his home, and sent drug packages to customers who had ordered them from. Srinivasan.
Srinivasan was sent to jail without bail and is being transported from Texas to California for trial. Ta was released on bail and his arraignment is scheduled for December 22.
The maximum legal sentence for the conspiracy charge alleged in the indictment is federal life in prison, according to the indictment.