Federal Officials: Dark Web Drug Network Operated From Gated Community in Altadena; 6 Charged
A group of Southern Californians have been accused of operating a multimillion-dollar drug distribution network on the dark Web from a gated community in Altadena, federal prosecutors said.
In an indictment unsealed in the Eastern District of California on Thursday, authorities charged William James Farber, 37, and Bryan Antony Lemons, 29, both of Los Angeles, with conspiracy to possess and distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to launder money. Also charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute controlled substances were Richard Thomas Martinsen, 29, of Studio City; Michael Angelo Palma, 22, of Los Angeles; Michele Pickerell, 47, of Altadena; and Faysal Mustafa Alkhayat, 31, of Woodland Hills.
According to investigators, the group ran two underground drug distribution businesses. The first, PureFireMeds, operated on the dark Web market Silk Road. The second, HumboldtFarms, operated on AlphaBay from August 2013 to May 2017.
During that time, the group completed more than 78,000 orders for marijuana, oxycodone, hydrocodone, psilocybin (also known as “magic mushrooms,”) Ecstasy, LSD, Xanax and ketamine, the indictment says.
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