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Los Angeles man convicted in Utah for $8 million opioid ring using the dark web

A federal grand jury in Utah found a Los Angeles man and his co-conspirator guilty in an $8 million opioid ring in which they sold pills over the dark web and shipped them across state lines, prosecutors announced Tuesday. 

Enrique Isong, 49, was part of the drug-dealing conspiracy led by Las Vegas resident Oluwole Adegboruwa, which sold more than 300,000 oxycodone pills to customers on now-shuttered dark web marketplaces such as Dream Market, Wall Street Market, Hansa and Alphabay, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Utah. They used U.S. mail to ship drugs worth millions around the country – the sales of which spanned from October 2016 to May 2019, federal prosecutors said.

After a two-week trial, the jury in Salt Lake City found them guilty on May 20 of federal charges including distributing oxycodone and committing money laundering.

According to prosecutors, Adegboruwa, 54, ran online pages selling the drugs under the names "King Odua" and "Alagbada726," accepting cryptocurrency including Bitcoin and Ethereum for payment — later selling the crypto for traditional currency.

Adegboruwa must forfeit cryptocurrency now valued at more than $15 million as part of his sentence.

The jury returned a special verdict May 20 requiring that payment as well as the forfeiture of $380,395.64 in cash, 26 money orders worth $9,400 and $15,500 in lieu of a 2017 Dodge Charger from Adegboruwa.

The Las Vegas man was convicted under the so-called "kingpin statute" for organizing a criminal enterprise and overseeing at least five other people in carrying out the drug-dealing conspiracy. Adegboruwa testified at trial he was the only person with access to the dark web selling pages and he would direct his co-conspirators in LA and Las Vegas to package and ship pills all over the U.S.

During his and Isong's trial, their other co-conspirators who already pleaded guilty testified against them, telling jurors how they would sort, package and ship oxycodone pills in a way that limited damage and avoided detection from law enforcement. One of their customers told jurors how he would order the drugs online and they would arrive to his home through U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail.

The two men are scheduled to be sentenced in August 2024.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Service and criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service. Investigators were assisted by the federal drug enforcement program, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, which oversees cases involving the highest-level criminal drug organizations in the U.S.

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