A 54-year-old, Adolph Garza with over 20 years of military service as a United States Navy commander pleaded guilty on Friday last week to darknet drug charges. This took place in San Diego, at a United States federal court. Moreover, he admitted having purchased to sell controlled substances on darknet marketplaces for over a 14-month period that ended with his apprehension in March this year at his Hillcrest residence.
Adolph Garza pleaded guilty of conspiracy to the distribution of controlled substances in contravention of Title 21, United States Constitution, Sections 841(h), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846. Garza also admitted that he engaged in a conspiracy to launder drug proceeds using cryptocurrencies, in contravention of Title 21, United States Constitution, Sections 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) and 1956(h). Turned over to the authorities were his bitcoin wallet and a forfeiture of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies from the profits he gained off transactions made on the dark web. The guilty plea triggered a 20-years minimum mandatory sentence and a fine up to $500,000.
Hearing about 20-year minimum sentences is commonplace now for darknet drug vendors. In Texas, there was a trial of a fentanyl drug dealer up for a 20-year minimum sentence. A similar case also took place with a drug dealer in Pennslyvania earlier this year with another 20-year minimum sentence.
According to a court document, Garza made the use of different darknet marketplaces to purchase illegal drugs for trafficking throughout the country. In his plea agreement, the commander admitted that on a minimum of 13 occasions, the narcotics he bought were similar to the ones confiscated at the airport in New York, San Francisco and Chicago by the United States Customs and Border Protection. Similarly, in San Diego by the United States Postal Inspectors and HSI agents.
On March 7, this year, Garza was apprehended by the United States Postal Inspectors, special agents from Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and Homeland Security Investigations. With an approved search warrant, the federal agents invaded his residence in San Diego. Inside his apartment, investigators discovered sealers, bundling and mailing items, and also DVD cases that were used to hide drugs being shipped. The officers also confiscated MDMA, carfentanil, fentanyl, amphetamine, ecstasy, and other illegal drugs, as admitted by Garza in the San Diego federal court.
Per report, a bundle of carfentanil from the Netherlands was shipped to Garza’s residence back in 2016 when the United States Customs and Border Protection investigators intercepted the item at the International Mail Facility in Chicago.
“The bundle of carfentanil was the first package of over a dozen more shipped to the navy commander that was discovered to contain controlled substances,” according to Postal Inspector David Jones.
Some days after the first item was confiscated, another ecstasy filled box was shipped to Garza’s different residential address, but also seized in Chicago. Per investigators as well as federal prosecutors, the commanders name and address were also found on two different narcotic ledgers amid investigations into other darknet drug vendors.
“A small piece of carfentanil the size of a grain of sand can damage your life, making this substance extremely lethal. Here special agents took 86,000 potentially fatal carfentanil dosage out of the hands of Darknet distributors, together with many other unsafe narcotics, including fentanyl. We will vigorously prosecute dealers, as well as, Darknet drug peddlers who arrogantly endanger our country by distributing lethal opioids,” stated U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman.
This month, United States law enforcement agencies monitored the networks involved in the distribution of opioids. These results demonstrated an increasing death rate of opioids in the United States.
Garza’s sentencing before the U.S District Judge Cynthia Bashant is scheduled for December 10, 2018. While he will end up in federal detention for 20 years, prosecutors argued in a plea deal to suggest the low end of the advisory guideline. This was a sign of good faith, however, for all that he contributed during the investigation. It is not yet determined if the judge will agree with the need for the minimalist sentence.