Two men could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on allegations they sold more than 120,000 pills containing fentanyl and other drugs to thousands of people using the darknet.
Westminster resident Michael Ta, 24, partnered with Houston resident Rajiv Srinivasan, 37, to sell fentanyl and other drugs using the darknet, including the Dark0de website, under an account named “redlightlabs,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.
While Srinivasan allegedly ran the redlightlabs account to market and sell imitation M30 oxycodone pills containing fentanyl in exchange for cryptocurrency, Ta allegedly obtained the fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine, stored the drugs at his home and mailed them to customers.
“Srinivasan and Ta allegedly maintained a shared electronic document that detailed approximately 3,800 drug transactions to approximately 1,500 unique customers,” the release said. “That database documented sales between May and November 2022 totaling approximately 123,188 fentanyl pills, over 143 kilograms of methamphetamine, and smaller amounts of fentanyl powder, black tar heroin and cocaine, according to the indictment.”
The two men face 19 charges related to “a conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine,” the release said.
Earlier this year, Srinivasan and Ta sold more than 7,000 pills to an undercover agent posing as a customer, officials said, and they were arrested last month.
Srinivasan is being brought from Houston to California to stand trial. Ta was released on bond and will be arraigned on Dec. 22.
If convicted of the criminal conspiracy charge, the men could be sentenced to life in federal prison.