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According to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California, a DEA investigation in Orange County led to the arrest of three men who allegedly sold fentanyl on the Dream darknet marketplace. The announcement followed the release of a criminal complaint that accused the men of darknet drug distribution under the vendor account “Oxygod.”
The DEA and the Costa Mesa Police Department conducted a six-month operation that led to the arrest of three men on one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. The criminal complaint named 21-year-old Wyatt Pasek, 22-year-old Isaiah Suarez, and 20-year-old Duc Cao, 20 as the only conspirators in an operation that likely involved upwards of 100,000 fake oxycodone pills.
Six months ago, the Costa Mesa Police Department became aware of blue 30mg ‘oxycodone’ pills. The pills had been stamped with the correct “A 125” that one might find on genuine oxycodone pills. The DEA and Costa Mesa Police Department, according to an affidavit filed alongside the criminal complaint, later discovered that the pills contained “fentanyl or cyclopropyl fentanyl.” Law enforcement may have tested for fentanyl and only later discovered the men had used cyclopropyl fentanyl. Alternatively, the pills could have been from different batches. No explanation was given for the use of ‘or’ in the affidavit.
Law enforcement quickly pinpointed Pasek as a source of the fake oxycodone pills. Many similar fentanyl cases, such as the recent case involving fentanyl nasal spray, are the result of an overdose connected to a darknet vendor. No fatal overdoses launched this investigation, according to current court documentation.
The police watched Pasek and later identified a pill lab in Newport Beach. They learned the identities of the other men allegedly involved in the operation. One of the most notable developments occured in early March when the police observed Cao dropping packages off at a post office. After obtaining a warrant, the Costa Mesa Police Department seized suspects in different states and found a combined total of 1,400 blue “A 125” pills.
On April 2, the police observed Cao at Pasek’s residence. Cao then travelled to the Newport Beach pill lab. From there, Cao drove to a Santa Ana post office and dropped off 13 packages. The packages looked similar to the first eight packages. After obtaining a court order, the police opened the packages and discovered more of the same counterfeit oxycodone pills. The pills tested positive for fentanyl, the affidavit said.
The police, on April 3, raided Suarez’s apartment. Inside they found three kilograms of fake oxycodone pills and fake Xanax pills. OxyGod does not sell Xanax on Dream. He also had almost five kilograms of blue and white pill binders used to press the blue “A 125” pills. Pasek’s house also contained evidence of a crime, the police explained. They found more than 13,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills and an unknown amount of cash.
All three men saw a judge the next day. Arraignment appearances are spread throughout the month of April, beginning as soon as April 13.