Sacramento's Eddy Steven Sandoval Lopez, 22, and Deshari Saivohn Frederick, 21, were charged today on an eleven-count indictment for distributing controlled substances, conspiracy, and use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The two were apprehended after an undercover investigation by the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (NCIDE) Task Force during which multiple agents made purchases of marijuana and cocaine from their dark web marketplace accounts.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California, "NCIDE is a joint, federal task force focused on targeting all forms of dark-web and cryptocurrency criminal activity in the Eastern District of California."
Sandoval and Saivohn were selling drugs on the Dream Market anonymous marketplace on the dark web under the CokeWave, SafeDealsDirect, and HerbanFarmer accounts.
Dream Market is a darknet market which went online around November 2013 on the TOR “dark web” network, and it was designed to make it as easy as possible to anonymously buy illegal items and services in exchange of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
The two were arrested after a joint undercover operation of the NCIDE Task Force the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
"Agents conducted numerous undercover purchases of cocaine and marijuana from these vendor accounts," says the DOJ's press release. "Physical surveillance and postal records revealed that Sandoval Lopez and Frederick were responsible for packaging and mailing these parcels."
Following the undercover purchases, multiple NCIDE agents performed a house search at the defendants' residences on October 2 where they found cocaine packages, bulk marijuana, and a stolen Ruger handgun.
At the moment the two defendants are presumed innocent, and all charges are only allegations but, if convicted, they both face "a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for drug distribution".
Furthermore, if found guilty, Deshari Saivohn Frederick faces an additional five-year consecutive sentence coupled with a $250,000 fine because of the Ruger handgun found in his residence.
The two defendants are not the only dark web vendors under investigation or sentenced seeing that Gal Vallerius aka Oxymonster, former Dream Market admin was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, and Gary Davis aka Libertas, a Silk Road admin also faces 20 years after pleading guilty of narcotics distribution.