According to an an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Michael Gordon (Age 32) from Philadelphia orchestrated a “sophisticated drug distribution scheme involving purchasing vast amounts of counterfeit Xanax pills” from a UK darknet seller and reselling the drugs to Pennsylvania-wide co-conspirators.
Since approximately December 2017 until October 2018, Gordon was involved in a complex plan to get Xanax falsified on the dark web and sell the falsified drugs for profit. He has taken several measures to hide his criminal activity: for example, he orchestrated covertly the mailing of parcels, sending them to fake recipients and delivering them to a number of Gordon-controlled locations in an attempt to circumvent any investigative efforts.
In addition, he paid for the falsified pills using Bitcoin, re-sold the falsified pills for a profit, and then laundered the profits of his illegal drug company to hide the true existence of the funds gained from the scheme. The defendant secretly purchased hundreds of thousands of these highly addictive drugs until he was stopped by law enforcement and re-distributed them. In June 2019 he pleaded guilty to the charges.
“Simply put, Gordon was putting others ‘ well-being at risk to satisfy his own greed,” U.S. Attorney McSwain said.”Xanax can be extremely addictive under normal circumstances but Xanax’s falsified version may be far more dangerous and potentially lethal. Gordon didn’t think twice about this risk, because he concentrated solely on how to benefit from others’ suffering.
United States District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond sentenced Gordon to 20 years in federal prison and three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered him to pay damages in excess of $2.7 million and forfeit more than $300,000.