Darknet Drug Vendor Pleads Guilty to Distributing Illicit Prescription Drugs
ALEXANDRIA, Va., – A Georgia man pleaded guilty yesterday to distributing illicit prescription drugs over the Darknet and shipping them across the country via the U.S Postal Service.
According to court documents, from around April 2020 through October 2020, Cullen Roberts, 23, of Duluth, Georgia, used the moniker “Pillpusher” to sell prescription opioids and other scheduled narcotics on a Darknet market. Beginning in July 2020, law enforcement began investigating Roberts by conducting a series of undercover purchases of various types of prescription drugs via the Darknet.
Roberts promoted the quality of the pills that he advertised for sale on his Darknet vendor page. For example, in September 2020, he listed oxymorphone pills, a powerful opiate used to treat severe pain, for sale for $90/pill. In the listing, Roberts described the oxymorphone pills as “the gold standard for any opiate” and “the closest you will get to heaven.”
Roberts was identified as “Pillpusher” when he was caught shipping packages containing prescription drugs through the U.S. Post Office in Cumming, Georgia. Agents subsequently discovered dozens of tablets of Tramadol, a Schedule IV analgesic that is also commonly abused. Agents also recovered from Roberts’ residence empty boxes that had contained oxycodone and alprazolam (brand name Xanax).
Roberts is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division; Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Robert E. Bornstein, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea.
This investigation was conducted by the Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force, which is composed of agents and task force partners, including special agents and officers of the DEA, FBI Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and detectives from local assisting police agencies. The task force is charged with identifying and investigating the most egregious Dark Web marketplaces, and the vendors operating on the marketplaces who are engaged in the illegal acquisition and distribution of controlled substances, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other opioids.