One Stephan Caamano, known better over the dark web as Googleplex has been sentenced to a total of 13 years in jail for his role in producing and distributing fake Xanax pills which he sold over darknet markets. He was also accused of laundering money through the same means, most of which were the profits gained from the illicit business.
The dark web drug dealer was a resident of Champaign, Illinois and a student of Mathematics at the University of Illinois was alleged by law enforcement to have sold over 4 million of the fake Xanax pills prior to his arrest and ran the operation from his home for about a year between March of 2017 to May the following year.
The 26-year old was charged with two counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance, two counts of Money Laundering, and two counts of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity and was sentenced on Monday. He had pleaded guilty earlier in April of 2019 to all the charges levelled against him.
Between his arrest and his sentencing, he underwent mental checks and evaluations to determine he was competent to stand trial due to his use of Xanax himself, which his lawyer argued was to treat some trauma and depression he suffered being in New York when the 9/11 attacks took place. In addition to sentencing, the judge ruled that Caamano give up $2.1 million in cash and assets which included his house, car, as well as profits from the trade kept in a bank account.
Pictured: Stephan Camaano (mugshot)
Image Source: wandtv.com
This was determined after repeated efforts to get Caamano to give up the locations and access to his cryptocurrency accounts proved futile. He stated that the numerous cryptocurrency wallets he was known to own were now obsolete as he had lost the keys to access them and so had lost thousands of dollars in estimated value.
At the time of his arrest, mostly precipitated by Caamano making mistakes with shipping labels and in effect mailing packages of fake Xanax to the wrong people and law enforcement making a connection based on his darkweb profile being associated with Easypost, a postage service he used to make deliveries.
This coupled with the fact that he was being investigated for purchasing a pill press from China raised suspicion and after surveillance, the DEA seized more than 80,000 of the fake Xanax pills he had pressed and determined that a single 313mg pill contained about 2 milligrams of alprazolam – an active agent used in the making of Xanax which he imported from China, 300 milligrams of Firmapress as well as 11 milligrams of unknown materials.
He will now serve 13 years of prison time as well as three years of supervised release in addition to the $2.1 million dollars he has been ordered by the court to forfeit.