Today, a Phoenix, Arizona, couple admitted to planning to use the darknet to smuggle out heroin, methamphetamine, and para-fluorofentanyl, among other banned narcotics.
According to court records, Cheerish Noel Taylor, 36, and Robert James Fischer, 35, operated the darknet monikers “SafeServe,” “Sky_HIGH,” and other names throughout various darknet markets between about January 2021 and May 2023. The co-conspirators advertised and sold a variety of controlled substances on these markets, including crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, Xanax, Adderall, suboxone, and fake pills that they passed off as oxycodone but were actually laced with a dangerous fentanyl analogue called para-fluorofentanyl. Using these accounts, the conspirators sold over 1,100 controlled substances on the darknet throughout the course of the plot.
Darknet markets, or covert business websites, are hosted on the darknet, also known as the darkweb. A darknet market functions as a black market, selling or brokering deals including legal products as well as illegal ones like illegal narcotics, firearms, counterfeit money, credit card information that has been stolen, forged documents, and steroid- and drug-related items.
Fischer and Taylor advertised their fake oxycodone tablets as “pressed m30s” and “blues,” even though they knew they actually contained fentanyl or a fentanyl derivative rather than oxycodone. The defendant’s darknet vendor page on the website ASAP Market said in the product description for the alleged “blues” that “These are not reg M30s they are PRESSED and are very strong…Please, only experienced users.
The defendants promoted, in another item for the alleged “blues,” “small fine print: these are NOT from a pharmacy they are PRESSED from Mexico.” Only for experienced users because they are powerful AF and not recommended for new users.
Fischer and Taylor marketed other medications they sold on the darknet as being manufactured by reputable pharmaceutical companies. For instance, the two charged over $13 a pill for what they marketed as “pharmaceutical Adderall.”
The two sought to conceal the banned narcotics within parcels filled with dollar-store goods like children’s stickers, beads, birthday cards, and seasonal gift items while shipping them across the country via the United States Postal Service. Sometimes the packaging for toys contained the restricted drugs.
Taylor’s sentencing is set for December 8. A mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in jail awaits her. On January 5, 2024, Fischer is scheduled to receive his punishment. A mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in jail is also an option for him. For federal crimes, actual sentences are frequently less severe than the maximum punishments. Any punishment will be decided by a federal district court judge after the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other legal considerations.