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Press Release

Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Fentanyl on the Darknet

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Winsted, Connecticut, man pleaded guilty today to participating in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl over the darknet.

According to court documents, from at least April 2020 through February 2021, Colby John Kopp, 23, and his co-conspirators used darknet marketplaces to conduct drug trafficking business. Kopp created, maintained, and controlled darknet marketplace accounts to further the Connecticut-based fentanyl distribution operation. As a darknet marketplace vendor, Kopp and other members of the conspiracy used the moniker “MadHatterPharma” to engage in the sale of counterfeit pressed pills containing fentanyl that the conspirators pressed themselves and then shipped to customers all over the country, including in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Kopp is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael Tucker is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-109.

Updated January 17, 2023

Drug Trafficking