Two citizens from Costa Rica were indicted in the District of Columbia by a federal grand jury for their illegal sales of opioids on the Darknet.
The seven-count indictment charged David Brian Pate, 44, a U.S. and Costa Rican citizen, and Jose Luis Fung Hou, 38, a Costa Rican citizen, with counts of conspiring with individuals to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, conspiring with individuals to import controlled substances, conspiring to launder money, and money laundering.
Fung has supplied Pate with hundreds of thousands of opioid pills according to the indictment. Pate, in addition, sold the pills on different darkweb marketplaces, including Silk Road and Alphabay. Pate laundered the profits and forwarded a part of the money to Fung as payment for a fresh drug shipment.
Pate used the monikers “buyersclub,” “senorpate,” “davidpate,” and “expurdue” on darkweb marketplaces and other conspiracy-related sites, according to the indictment. In one example set out in the indictment, under the “expurdue” name, Pate marketed and sold 20 mg and 40 mg OxyContin pills on Silk Lane. He marketed the pills as having come from a Costa Rican pharmacy.
Furthermore, the indictment charges that Pate’s darknet sales involved him sending bulk drug shipments in pill form from Costa Rica, mostly disguised in tourist souvenirs such as maracas, to US co-conspirator re-shippers. Pate would then send a list of customer orders to the re-shippers which included the names of the customer, the shipping address of the customer and the quantity of pills they ordered. The re-shippers produced smaller pill packages which they then mailed to the customer. If the customer received the shipments, the darknet market would release funds into Pate ‘s account in Bitcoin which were kept in escrow until the transaction was completed. Of those darknet market transactions, customers paid Pate over 23,903 bitcoin. The co-conspirators also laundered payments in the form of international wire transfers and bitcoin.
The charges in the pleadings are merely accusations, and in a court of law, the defendant is presumed innocent unless proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt.