A man known as “the drug llama” was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for distributing fentanyl throughout the United States using a dark net market.
According to US prosecutors in southern district of Illinois, prosecution began in January 2019 when charges were brought against 34-year-old Brandon Arias and his accomplice Melissa Scanlan, 32, or “the drug llama.”
In his indictment, Arias was charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, illegal distribution of fentanyl (5 counts), selling fake pills, and misbranding drugs.
He pleaded guilty to all 8 charges back in July.
Melissa Scanlan pleaded responsible to her role in the conspiracy, in addition to her involvement in a global money laundering conspiracy and a separate case of promoting the spread of fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a person.
She should be sentenced on February 10, 2020. Each Arias and Scanlan have been in federal custody since their arrest in early 2019.
Pursuant to lawsuits, Arias and Scanlan created an account in the “dream marketplace” a dark network market in which users buy and sell illegal materials and services, in which they offered large quantities of drugs under the name “the drug llama.”
According to the office of the US Attorney, the couple performed an operation from their hometown of San Diego, California. For almost a two-year period, Arias has been actively involved in the distribution of Scanlan to more than 1000 tablets of fentanyl and acetylfentanyl every week.
From illicit drug trafficking, the couple earned more than 100 thousand dollars, distributing the profit equally among themselves.
The case was part of a multi-month coordinated operation across the country involving the FDA, DEA, the U.S. Postal and Inspection Service, and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the attorney’s office for the southern district of California.