Acting US Attorney Tessa M. Gorman announced today that a 31-year-old ‘dark web’ heroin dealer that used the handle “PerpetualEuphoria” was sentenced to 5 years in prison in US District Court in Seattle. After a horrible assault on his estranged girlfriend, Zachary Madding of Mill Creek, Washington, was arrested at a long-stay hotel in Mukilteo, Washington. “The individual who is before me is not a decent person,” U.S. District Judge James L. Robart stated at the sentencing hearing. He is a common criminal who is doing the most heinous crimes…. You have no idea who you’re working with on the dark web… There are 1,600 families out there that are suffering from addiction as a result of your actions.”
“By anonymously delivering his lethal heroin to all corners of the country, this defendant put thousands of people at risk of death,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman. “Having seriously harmed two young pedestrians while driving under the influence of narcotics, he knew all too well the devastation his drugs caused. Dealing on the dark web spreads the devastation caused by heroin usage over a far greater geographic area, with a callous disregard for the harm it causes to communities and addicts.”
Madding initially came to the notice of law authorities in May 2018, when he assaulted his estranged girlfriend by forcing Xanax down her throat and forcibly spraying fentanyl up her nose, according to court documents. Fortunately, physicians were able to revive the victim with Narcan. Maddingly was apprehended. Police uncovered fraudulent identification documents, shipping labels, drug ledgers, crushed Xanax tablets, and fentanyl spray in his hotel room.
Madding aka “PerpetualEuphoria” was selling heroin on dark web websites as early as 2016, according to a Homeland Security Investigations investigation. Dark web websites are a vast network of computers that hide the genuine Internet Protocol (“IP”) address of computing equipment. Madding moved on to new sites as different marketplace sites were seized and shut down by law officials. He took precautions to evade detection by accepting bitcoin payments, encrypting communications, and transporting his pills in such a way that drug-detecting canines would miss them.
Madding made almost 1,600 sales on the dark web in total, earning him $72,000 in bitcoin.
Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who leads HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest, said, “Madding’s reign of violence and drug selling is gone.” “We have greater law enforcement cooperation in Washington than criminals who hide behind internet screens peddling poison in our communities.”
“Without a doubt, this is a significant step toward bringing down large-scale Dark web drug dealers. Over 1600 shipments of illegal and lethal narcotics were delivered to communities across the country by Madding alone.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is tasked with investigating any criminal use of the U.S. Mail, and the shipment of illegal narcotics remains one of our highest priorities,” said Inspector-in-Charge Anthony Galetti, “The sentencing of a vendor like him disrupts a truly deadly supply chain, and his removal from the community will undoubtedly save lives.” We appreciate the help of the Mukilteo Police Department and HSI in bringing PerpetualEuphoria to justice.”
Madding’s dark web dealing accelerated after he was released from a state prison sentence for vehicular assault. In that case, in August 2014, Madding drove under the influence of heroin and struck two teen-agers as they walked on the side of the road. Both were badly injured, and one suffered a critical and life-altering brain injury.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Mukilteo Police Department.