Feds Busted Darknet Cocaine Vendor “JetSetLife”

Federal authorities, according to court documents filed on May 16, arrested the man suspected of controlling “JetSetLife,” the account of one of the most successful cocaine dealers on the darknet. JetSetLife (JSL) started selling cocaine on Silk Road and then continued to sell on almost every known darknet marketplace that emerged after Silk Road fell. Even though JSL moved massive quantities of cocaine for years, investigators caught the suspected primary conspirator in less than one month after an undercover purchase.

The suspected dealer, Brian Gutierrez Villasenor, 26, was charged with only one crime: Distribution of Cocaine. The majority of the court documents, though, are not accessible to the general public. In government’s Motion to Seal, the prosecution warned that Villasenor’s co-defendants would “notify others, flee justice, destroy evidence, and jeopardize the ongoing investigation.” Law enforcement will most likely catch additional conspirators and file additional criminal complaints and indictments. Additional charges will be filed.

According to the Criminal Complaint from FBI Special Agent Jonathan Clemens, a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) led to the arrest of the 26-year-old San Francisco man who had allegedly distributed cocaine on the dark web for at least six years. JetSetLife sold for an unknown amount of time on the original Silk Road under the name “White Dreams.”

JetSetLife—an operation clearly too large for any single person to control—had listings on the second Silk Road, Agora, Evolution, Nucleus, Alphabay, Dream, Empire, and several more markets not worth mentioning. One of the more recent JetSetLife endeavors was a private vendor shop where they listed MDMA and bricks of cocaine. A HSI agent, posing as an undercover buyer, purchased seven grams of cocaine from JetSetLife. Specifically seven grams of “Peruvian mother pearl 95%.” The agent spent $25 for 2-day shipping (Priority Express).

On April 23, 12 days after placing the order, HSI picked up the package of cocaine at a HSI-controlled P.O. Box. They verified that the cocaine tested positive for actual cocaine. Agents then sent the shipping information to the United States Postal Inspection Service in San Francisco. A USPIS agent identified the Post Office where the package was dropped off and the specific time the suspect had dropped the package off. Video footage showed Gutierrez Villasenor at the Post Office with a package that matched the one ordered by HSI. The police said the footage showed a Hispanic male that matched the appearance of Gutierrez Villasenor’s driver’s license picture.

USPIS intercepted a package on May 5 that matched the first package. The USPIS, FBI, HSI, and DEA opened the package on May 7. The packaging—a DVD case with a Mylar bag—matched the UC purchase. USPIS pulled footage from the Post Office where the package had been dropped off. The footage caught Gutierrez Villasenor, unsurprisingly, dropping the package off.

Federal agents surveilled Gutierrez Villasenor on at least one recorded occasion. They watched him leave his house in an Uber vehicle. The driver stopped at Chase Bank and then at a Post Office. Gutierrez Villasenor shipped three priority mail packages at the Post Office. He left the Post Office in a different Uber vehicle. The driver dropped him off at another Post Office where he dropped off three more packages. He left the Post Office in yet another Uber vehicle. The driver dropped him off at his house.

Halfway through the month of April, federal agents moved in and arrested Gutierrez Villasenor. The arrest, unlike the arrest of dealers in similar cases, proved fairly uneventful. The police did not even mention evidence discovered on his property. According to the court documents filed on May 16, the man faces one distribution of cocaine charge. If convicted of only that crime, a judge can issue a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.