Brockton Man Pleads Guilty in Sophisticated Drug Trafficking Conspiracy that Operated Using the Dark Web
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A Brockton man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to his role in a highly sophisticated drug trafficking operation that manufactured and distributed a multitude of controlled substances using the Dark Web.
Steven McCall, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, Ketamine and Alprazolam (Xanax). U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Sept. 28, 2022.
McCall was indicted in June 2019 along with co-conspirators Binh Thanh Le and Allante Pires. Le, who was the ringleader of the drug-trafficking operation, created and operated a vendor site called “EastSideHigh” in marketplaces on the Dark Network, more commonly known as the Dark Web. The Dark Web is any portion of the internet that can only be accessed with specific software, configurations or authorization that anonymize internet traffic. Le used these Dark Web markets to advertise various drugs for sale, including cocaine, MDMA, Ketamine and Xanax. Le ordered and received wholesale quantities of the drugs he and the others were distributing in the mail, principally from foreign sources in Canada and Europe. McCall and Pires then processed and manufactured those controlled substances at an office space Le rented in Stoughton. After receiving the orders and payment via Bitcoin, the men mailed the drugs to customers throughout the United States.
At the time of his arrest, McCall had been manufacturing and packaging controlled substances at the co-conspirators’ stash location in Stoughton and was wearing latex gloves and a respirator.
Over 19 kilograms of MDMA, almost seven kilograms of Ketamine, nearly one kilogram of cocaine, more than 10,000 counterfeit Xanax pills and over $114,000 in cash were seized by authorities during the investigation. Investigators also recovered a computer with the “EastSideHigh” vendor page open, numerous packages containing MDMA and Ketamine, various shipping and packaging materials and a pill press from the office space in Stoughton.
On March 10, 2022, Le was sentenced to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release. Le was also ordered to forfeit more than 59 Bitcoin (currently worth more than $1.2 million), $114,680 in cash, $42,390 representing the proceeds from the sale of a 2018 BMW M3, along with other items including a pill press and currency counter. On June 3, 2022, Pires pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8, 2022.
The charge of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, Ketamine and Alprazolam (Xanax) provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey; and Jennifer De La O, Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Boston Field Office made the announcement. Special assistance with the investigation was provided by the Homeland Security Investigations in Colorado; Postal Inspectors from around the country; and the Stoughton, Norwood and Brockton Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Arnold of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
Updated June 28, 2022