Two Iowa Men Confess to Buying Carfentanil on the Darknet

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Two young men from eastern Iowa pleaded guilty to Dark Web drug charges after being arrested according to the U.S. Attorney’s office of Northern Iowa. The charges include purchasing darknet marketplace drugs and planning to sell illegal pills that contained Carfentanil. This new darknet drug is a powerful sedative used to put down elephants, federal agents explained.

Carfentanil, an ‘elusive killer’ is a synthetic opioid and an extremely toxic drug. However, drug traffickers continue to mix the drug with other illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin while the addicts continually get poisoned as they chase the product.

The duo, James Cameron Lensmeyer and Paul Evans Sage, both aged 20 and from Iowa and both pleaded guilty to federal charges for possessing dangerous illegal controlled substances with intention of selling them. They admitted to having purchased supposed prescription pills from the dark web which included alprazolam and fake oxycodone. This was according to the authorities on Monday.

Cameron was convicted for possessing and distributing marijuana and carfentanil while Paul Sage was convicted for possessing with the intention of distributing cocaine, marijuana, and carfentanil as well as possessing an unlicensed firearm, federal investigators said.

After a drug task force obtained a search warrant, they searched a shared apartment by the two suspects in the 1200 block of Tremont Street Cedar Falls early last June. The investigating federal agents seized over $20,000 in cash, over 30 grams of cocaine, over 600 grams of marijuana and around 800 blue pills which appeared like prescription oxycodone pills as well as a  Ceska Zbrojovka-Praha .32 caliber shotgun which was loaded with eight rounds of ammunition.

Officials from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Iowa said that a lab test indicated that most of the seized drugs contained carfentanil a strong substance which experts say is more than 10,000 stronger than morphine and more than 100 times stronger than fentanyl. Not less than a quarter contained traces of a synthetic fentanyl named as cyclopropyl fentanyl.

Fentanyl and carfentanil are the main driving force behind the opioid epidemic in the United States and still remains the most deadly drugs in the country. According to the court records the investigating agents indicated that a weapon was also seized. There was no indication that any bitcoin wallets were found on any taken hard drives.

Peter Deegan, the U.S. Attorney in a statement cautioned that counterfeit prescription pills are on the increase and are becoming too common, especially with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies making it easy to purchase online. More people are accessing the deep web because “the pills are purchased from the dark web and usually contain stronger and toxic substances than the purchaser might think,” he warned. “These drugs can kill.”

In a statement by a Drug Enforcement Administration official, just a small quantity of fentanyl could be deadly especially in a case of overdose and such has been the case that government agencies are going hard to arrest drug dealers. Recently, a darknet vendor was convicted in Pennsylvania for possessing and selling fentanyl analogs.

The two Iowan men are facing a $1,000,000 fine, and up to 20 years behind bars with supervised release. Sage, with his additional charges, could face an additional $250,000, up to 5-year sentence and lifetime supervised release.

The investigation of the case was headed by TriCounty Drug Enforcement Task Force and prosecution is done by Dan Chatham the assistance of the U.S. Attorney.


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