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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 28, 2016

Tumwater, Washington Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Dealing Drugs on Dark Web

Defendant Persisted in Drug Trafficking after Search Warrant and Arrest

          A 22-year-old Tumwater, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four years in prison for his scheme to distribute drugs via the dark web, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  TRISTAN SIMPSON BRENNAND was arrested in December 2015, following an investigation that revealed he was distributing ecstasy on hidden websites such as “Agora” and “Evolution.”  Those websites were modeled after the Silk Road website which was a marketplace for illegal substances.  U. S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed three years of supervised release to follow the prison term.

          “The dark web provides drug dealers and other criminals with the 21st century equivalent of hidden corners and back alleys,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “Drug dealers think they can use the dark web to hide their tracks and make a living off the misery of others.  What this case demonstrates is that the dark net isn’t really “dark” to law enforcement.  I commend the federal and state agencies involved in this investigation for developing the evidence that resulted in this defendant being held to account for his crimes.”

            According to records filed in the case, BRENNAND came to the attention of law enforcement in January 2015 with reports he was dealing drugs on various websites.  In March 2015, law enforcement executed a court authorized search warrant on BRENNAND’s residence and seized MDMA (Ecstasy), more than $33,000 in cash, scales and other drug dealing paraphernalia.  Law enforcement also recovered various electronic devices which contained evidence of BRENNAND’s online drug dealing.

            Following BRENNAND’s arrest in December 2015, he admitted ongoing drug use and was referred for treatment.  When BRENNAND reported to the treatment facility he had Xanax MDMA, and Suboxone strips that he apparently planned to sell to others seeking treatment at the  facility.  Even after BRENNAND was removed from the treatment facility and taken to the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, he continued to direct a woman outside the prison to collect his drug debts and attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into the facility.

            The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Washington State Patrol.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Woods.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Drug Trafficking
Updated October 28, 2016