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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Florida Man Indicted for Selling Fentanyl on the Darknet in Exchange for Cryptocurrency

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Florida man was indicted today for distributing heroin, oxymorphone, oxycodone, and fentanyl as the narcotics vendor “chlnsaint” on Empire Market, a darknet hidden service, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

Chaloner Saintillus, 32, of Delray Beach, Florida, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and four counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

According to court documents, the vendor site for “chlnsaint” advertised the sale of fentanyl, carfentanyl, cocaine, oxymorphone, and other narcotics. From August 2019, when the vendor account was created, through August 2020, when Empire Market stopped its operations, “chlnsaint” completed over 1,100 narcotics sales and had a positive customer feedback rating of 98%. Saintillus also offered direct deals through the encrypted messaging app Wickr under the name “showstill.”

Through the course of the investigation, agents conducted numerous undercover buys of fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. Surveillance footage from the post offices from where the parcels were mailed revealed that Saintillus paid for the postage. Agents also conducted surveillance of Saintillus in Florida and identified him mailing a parcel that was later seized and found to contain fentanyl. Agents conducted a search of Saintillus’ residence on Oct. 26, and found a loaded handgun, more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, large quantities of narcotics, including fentanyl, and approximately $25,000 in the cryptocurrency XRP.

This case was investigated by the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (NCIDE) task force, which is comprised of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. NCIDE agents received assistance from the West Palm Beach, Florida offices of USPIS, HSI, FBI, and DEA, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the Delray Beach Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, Saintillus faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of the drug distribution charges, he faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated November 12, 2020