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Crypto Dark Web Drug Ring Run by Carolyn Hernandez-Taylor and Her Brother is Taken Down

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A dark web drug bust that utilized bitcoin and crypto has been taken down in Detroit, Michigan. The organization was run by Carolyn Hernandez-Taylor and her brother, and the former has already pleaded guilty to the charges against her.

Carolyn Hernandez-Taylor Takes a Plea Deal

FBI agents raided the home of her brother, where most of the duo’s activities took place. There, they found a clandestine drug lab and thousands of counterfeit Xanax pills. They also uncovered 600 grams of cocaine, several guns, and over a million dollars in crypto assets. The machines the pair utilized in their schemes could ultimately create more than 20,000 fake pills per hour.

Investigators estimate that the drug operation (called “Opiate Connect” on the dark net) has been in business since at least 2016, though the brother of Hernandez-Taylor was initially identified as being the ringleader roughly two years later. Hernandez-Taylor initially didn’t become involved in the business until 2019. A member of Homeland Security wrote in a statement:

Investigative findings have identified Taylor as one of the most active members of the Opiate Connect organization. Taylor has been routinely observed spending considerable amounts of time, multiple days per week, at the suspected drug processing/packaging location used by Opiate Connect.

This was echoed by Taylor in her plea deal, which stated:

Taylor was responsible for recruiting individuals to deliver packages/parcels of drugs to the post office.

If this had been a case of standard drugs, there’s a chance that things would have turned out differently, but the pair was operating a business that created fake prescription pills. This, according to U.S. attorney Dawn Ison, is what’s going to likely deliver more hurt to the duo given they were going to sell items to people that were ill and likely needed the real thing to survive and stay healthy. Ison said:

Counterfeit pills pose a unique danger to this community, especially ones that have the appearance of a drug that is so regularly prescribed. We will continue to investigate and aggressively prosecute instances where those counterfeit pills are manufactured illegally and distributed in our district to keep our community safe.

A Lengthy Jail Sentence?

Taylor is looking at a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in jail. She is currently out on bond, while her brother Victor is in jail while awaiting his trial and sentencing given the judge has deemed him a flight risk. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert White wrote in a court filing:

Hernandez was the leader and organizer of a substantial drug trafficking conspiracy. A search of his residence revealed industrial size pill press machines and mixers. Hernandez is a felon, with a prior conviction for drug trafficking, and had loaded firearms throughout the home including a rifle with a bump stock modification.

Nick Marinoff
Nick Marinoffhttps://www.livebitcoinnews.com/
Nick Marinoff is currently a lead news writer and editor for Money & Tech, a San Francisco-based broadcasting station that reports on all things digital currency-related. He has also written for a number of other online and print publications including Black Impact Magazine, EKT Interactive, Seal Beach USA and Benzinga.com, to name a few. He has recently published his first e-book "Take a 'Loan' Off Your Shoulders: 14 Simple Tricks for Graduating Debt Free" now available on Amazon. He is excited about the potential digital currency offers, particularly its ability to finance unbanked populations and bring nations together financially.

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