A 26-year-old Arizona man was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison yesterday for selling crystal meth, cocaine, and fentanyl-laced Percocet pills on at least three darknet markets. Jose Rodolfo Barraza Flores was alleged by prosecutors to have sold these drugs, among others, between 2018 and 2020 on White House Market, Empire Market, and Yellow Brick Market.
According to a statement released by the US Justice Department, Barraza Flores used wax candles to hide the contents of his orders, placing a wrapped order in a candle and melting wax to conceal it within. The vendor is said to have packaged the orders from an Arizona trailer.
Barraza Flores was apprehended by authorities at home in December 2020 and pleaded guilty to the charges against him in October of last year. The charges were filed from a district court in Florida, a state where many of the vendor’s suspected customers were located and that has been in the grips of an epidemic of fentanyl overdoses.
Pills laced with fentanyl, which also include fake Xanax and Adderall pills, have become an increasing medical and social issue across much of the US, leading to severe cases of addiction and numerous deaths attributed to accidental overdose. Drug overdose deaths in the US hit an all-time high in 2020 according to a study performed by Harvard University.