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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Roseville Couple Operating Dark Web Vendor Account “Dankstix” Plead Guilty

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Xavier Alexander Speropoulos, 25, and Lauren Crowe, 20, both of Roseville, pleaded guilty today to illegal use of a cellphone in furtherance of a drug crime, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, from Oct. 2017 through Jan. 22, 2019, when they were arrested, the defendants operated the vendor account “Dankstix” on Dream Market, a dark web marketplace. Through the Dankstix vendor account, the defendants illegally sold marijuana to customers throughout the United States in exchange for cryptocurrency.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy Task Force (NCIDE), composed of agents from Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the IRS Criminal Investigation. The NCIDE Task Force is a joint, federal task force focused on targeting all forms of dark-web and cryptocurrency activity in the Eastern District of California. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Paul Hemesath are prosecuting the cases.

Speropoulos and Crowe are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Jan. 16, 2020. Both defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
2:19-cr-157-TLN, 2:19-cr-169-TLN
Updated October 3, 2019