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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Dark Web Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Distributing Opioids

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Florida man pleaded guilty today to unlawfully distributing thousands of prescription opioid pills in exchange for over half a million dollars through the “dark web.”

According to court documents, between 2012 and 2020, Daren James Reid, 35, of Fort Lauderdale, used the dark web to distribute oxycodone. Under the monikers “Oxyflight” and “Imperial Royalty,” Reid sold over 12,000 oxycodone pills, the sales of which yielded a profit of over $500,000. Reid used dark web sites such as Silk Road, Wall Street, and Apollon to advertise and sell oxycodone pills of various strengths and prices. Reid utilized the U.S. Postal Service to illegally mail the pills to his customers across the U.S. in exchange for Bitcoin payments. Reid also possessed over one kilogram of oxycodone, morphine, and other pills in a storage facility in Florida.

“Reid preyed upon the vulnerabilities of others by illegally distributing over half a million dollars of highly addictive opioids through dark web markets,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “EDVA, along with its law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and hold accountable individuals who pose a significant danger to our communities by placing profits over lives.”

Reid pleaded guilty to unlawful distribution and possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each of the counts. 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.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Mark S. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Metro Washington Field Office; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and Antonio J. Gomez, Inspector in Charge of the Miami Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karolina Klyuchnikova is prosecuting the case.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force, which is composed of FBI agents and task force partners, including special agents and officers of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, DEA, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and detectives from local assisting police agencies. The task force is charged with identifying and investigating the most egregious Dark Web marketplaces, and the vendors operating on the marketplaces who are engaged in the illegal acquisition and distribution of controlled substances, to include fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other opioids.

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. 1:21-cr-6.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Contact: 
Press Officer USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated February 9, 2021